How Does a Plasma Ball Work?

Plasma Lamp information and more

If you were ever curious about the lightning ball or you need some plasma lamp information for your science project then you would want to know how does a plasma ball work. Electricity is one of the most amazing phenomena that was ever discovered by man. We use it in all aspects of our daily lives, but the problem is it’s not as safe as you think it is, in physics plasma is when you ionize the gas and electrically charge the atoms.

If you want to physically interact with it, or visually observe its effects, well, you can’t. Imagine being able to take the glass globe off of plasma balls and watch the electricity beam around the room. Maybe you want to see how the current flows through your body when you touch the energy with your hand.

Well in today’s modern age we’ve actually discovered a way to do just that, It’s called a plasma ball. It’s a remarkable invention which became extremely popular in 1980’s for its bright, electric luminescent colors. You might have seen one in your high school science class or in a science museum. Electric beams of radiant light that are that you can safely touch and play around with, see exactly how the plasma globe works and not get zapped.

The facts behind the popular Plasma Lamp
A plasma ball gets its electrical glow effects from rare low-density gasses which are combined in varying amounts inside the glass globe, surrounding a powerful electrode. These gasses then get electrically charged (or ionized) which turns them into plasma particles by allowing the electrons to break away from their atoms and move around freely within the sphere. It’s amazing to watch the seemingly empty ball light up with electricity! It is a phenomenon which has been observed countless times in different fields throughout science and was first discovered by the brilliant engineer named, Nikola Tesla, during his experiments with high-frequency electric voltages on air-tight sealed tubes, he was the original inventor of the plasma ball so whenever I see one of the lamps I always think of him.
What is inside a Plasma Globe?
Inside the Plasma Ball is the 4th State of Matter which comes from ionized gas and conducts electricity. The streams of light inside the plasma lamp are known as ionized matter, it is the very thing that stars and lightning are made of (Stars are just giant balls of floating plasma, the universe is filled with gas, it’s airtight and cosmic rays conduct electricity). In fact, the new plasma ball information says it’s the most common form of matter in the entire universe! Another example that most are more familiar with would be the northern lights that are seen above the magnetic poles in the northern and southern hemispheres. The ionized gas within this globe is exactly the same. That’s why these lamps are so amazing, they allow us to own a little bit of the magic in the universe and experience it up close. Still, want to know more on how a plasma globe works? Well keep on reading we have so much knowledge on what is inside a plasma lamp and cool facts that you can use in science projects, so check it out!
Get your own Plasma Ball

Are Plasma Balls safe?
Yes, these lamps are completely safe. To understand if the plasma ball is safe you must first assess the Plasma Ball Dangers. It’s important to understand that before they were even released publicly, they were evaluated and re-designed to be safe for children. They use an extremely low amperage to be safe and the globes are made of tempered glass which is extremely hard to break, it does not shatter. Also, if the glass did somehow fracture it’s not like the plasma lamp would suddenly start shooting out bolts of electricity all over your room(although, that would be pretty cool). Realise that there is safe gas inside the plasma ball and as soon as it’s not compressed anymore it’s going to stop functioning immediately because the gas can’t ionize and the gas inside is non-toxic. If you’re still concerned and this is your first time, rather just get a small globe instead to test if they are safe.
Why do fluorescent bulbs light up near a Plasma Globe?
Inside the plasma ball is a coil of wires that have electrons going through them oscillating at a very high frequency. The electrons then travel out into the air from the glass and ionize the gas inside of a fluorescent tube, lighting it up almost like magic. (It looks much cooler than it sounds). We have fluorescent tube experiments on this website which you can do in the safety of your home. Also, be sure to watch the video above for a good reference on why fluorescent lights glow near a Plasma Globe!


There really is so much more we could talk about! Plasma Ball lights are truly an interesting subject, but since we are mainly focused on just what a plasma ball does. Let’s keep this plasma lamp information as relevant as possible, if you do want to know more though, you can go to this page for a brief history of the electric ball here and its origin, it has a lot of good information from valuable sources. Otherwise, If you just want to see some more information on the lamp, or you’re want to see what’s inside the globe then stay on lightning lamps! You will learn exactly how a plasma ball works.