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Breakdown of Air (Lightning and Corona Discharge) (D 29)

Keyword: Electrostatic Potential

Demonstration Description:

Different sized spheres at the end of a grounded rod are brought separately in the vicinity of a VdG generator. Breakdown of the air occurs and "lightning" sparked are created between the VdG and the spheres. Smaller spheres result in smaller sparks. A sharp point at the end of the discharge rod produces a Corona discharge (St. Elmo's fire). A shadow-projected electroscope placed nearby shows that discharge is actually taking place.

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