G. BRAD LEWIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY G. BRAD LEWIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Plasma globe. Light streamers inside a plasma globe. This toy is a hollow glass ball which contains an inert gas at low pressure. At the centre of the globe is a metal electrode (lower right). An electric potential is set up between this electrode and the glass sphere. This causes static discharges to pass through the gas, leading to the gas' atoms splitting into separate nuclei and electrons, a state of matter known as plasma. The lightning-like streams of light are due to the energy released as the atoms recombine.
Model release not required. Property release not required.