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xbck1
2004-Apr-08, 08:52 PM
Say you had a Telsa Coil out in space or in some sort of good vacuum and a metal bar or something near it. You flip the switch on the coil to turn it on and the electricity zaps the bar, correct? Well, would the electricity look the same as in this (http://www.menzelphoto.com/gallery/big/lightning3.htm) photo? Doesn't the electricity take the path of least resistance through air, and that's why it looks the way it does?

Wouldn't there be an electrical charge generated if two very dense gas clouds smashed into each other in space? What would that look like?

Ut
2004-Apr-08, 09:08 PM
No, the electricity wouldn't look like that. The electrons would move in a straight line, for the reason you state. It also wouldn't be luminous, since the lightning effect is due to the interaction of the electrons with the air.

Oh, and unless it was a big bar, was positively charged, or grounded, there'd be little reason for the electrons to be attracted to the bar in the first place.

JohnOwens
2004-Apr-08, 09:21 PM
Oh, and unless it was a big bar, was positively charged, or grounded, there'd be little reason for the electrons to be attracted to the bar in the first place.
Induced charge.

xbck1
2004-Apr-08, 09:21 PM
Ok, so we wouldn't be able to see it since it'd be like a laser. I guess I meant "What would its path look like?"

What would the gas clouds that I mentioned look like if they developed an electrical charge because of all the movement and interaction between all the little particles? Would they act a bit like a neon light and glow?

Thanks for the response.

Ut
2004-Apr-08, 09:26 PM
Oh, and unless it was a big bar, was positively charged, or grounded, there'd be little reason for the electrons to be attracted to the bar in the first place.
Induced charge.

Point.


I have no idea about the gas clouds. I look stupid enough when talking about stuff I actually know things about, so... Yanno.

ToSeek
2004-Apr-08, 09:45 PM
this (http://www.menzelphoto.com/gallery/big/lightning3.htm) photo

Man, you mean the mad scientists have their own club now!?

jawajedi
2004-Apr-08, 09:47 PM
Well if memory serves me right... The various probes to jupiter detected a gigantic charge/discharge between Io and Jupiter as Io orbits around Jupiter through its massive magnetic belts. I belive that several authors have also touched on using this belt of energy as a power source.

Its not visible to the naked eye as far as atmospheric disturbances on Jupiter and Io.

BA any more info/input on this. Its a late day and my brain is fired, perhaps he has a more detailed explination of this or links.

xbck1
2004-Apr-08, 09:48 PM
*Clears throat* http://badastronomy.com/mad/index.html 8)

pteranodon
2004-Apr-09, 08:17 PM
Say you had a Telsa Coil out in space or in some sort of good vacuum and a metal bar or something near it. You flip the switch on the coil to turn it on and the electricity zaps the bar, correct? Well, would the electricity look the same as in this (http://www.menzelphoto.com/gallery/big/lightning3.htm) photo? Doesn't the electricity take the path of least resistance through air, and that's why it looks the way it does?

Wouldn't there be an electrical charge generated if two very dense gas clouds smashed into each other in space? What would that look like?

Irregularities in the air make the spark have that appearance. Furthermore, the ionized channel will flow through the path with the highest gradient, not necessarily the least resistance path.