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Re: [TCML] Not coil related, but a HV question

Interesting question, but I am sure that it has been explored.  With all the satellites up there and going to the moon and mars and beyond, I am sure that arcing has been a concern.  Logic would say that in a vacuum there would be less resistance between any two points and the likely hood of arcing would be increased.  How about doing the experiment in a vacuum chamber where you could see what was happening without a camera and balloon and you could adjust the gap easier.  Same thing as high altitude balloning only cheaper and more controllable.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: mrapol@xxxxxxxxxxxx
> Sent: Mon, 11 Apr 2016 16:27:04 -0400
> To: tesla@xxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [TCML] Not coil related, but a HV question
> Recently I've gotten involved with a group of high altitude balloon
> hobbyists. We're always looking for interesting experiments to try in the
> stratosphere, and I thought of one with HV application. I'd like to run
> it
> by everyone here as a thought-experiment first.
> Air is a dielectric. Not a great one, but a sufficient air gap between
> two
> electrodes prevents arcing. (I may not be expressing this the best way,
> but
> you all know what I mean.) If you lower the air pressure greatly, would a
> high voltage spark leap across the same distance? I imagine something
> like a
> charged flash capacitor being lofted in a balloon. The poles of the cap
> are
> connected to electrodes separated by a gap sufficient to prevent
> discharge
> at normal air pressure. If the balloon lifts the apparatus to, say,
> 100,000
> feet, will we see the apparatus arc over when the air is sufficiently
> attenuated? Or will we get a kind of corona glow? Or nothing?
> A camera would be pointed at the gap to film the result.
> Paul Thompson
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