Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Static vs. Ultraviolet Light

I was teaching my daughter about phosphorescence and chemiluminescence the other day when it occurred to me to apply a blacklight to the static exercises I have been doing. Initially I sought to use a liquid that would react and thus render the effect of a glowing droplet in motion. After experimenting with a few materials, I settled on an industrial strength cleaner with chemiluminescent properties. Unfortunately this wouldn't work though for just as soon as I approached the setup, the droplet would fall on its own due to my charge imbalance drawing electrons from surrounding sources. After numerous attempts without success, I determined that the light reaction was also generating an opposite charge within the fluid that was enough to attract the invisible charge that was ascending from the doorknob into the needle and thus pull the droplet off the needle. I never had to make contact with the needle but simply come near for the action to occur like magic.

After giving up, I resorted to the simple flint particle technique.

Introducing the water droplet technique (which is also more cooperative than other fluids since it doesn't react to the light), another observation of note was that the static filament lost it's blue coloration and took on more of a pinkish white. Bouncing between 800 and 1600 ISO is why some are darker and lighter.

The droplet beat the filament (probably due to opposite charge prematurely drawing it off the needle) thus rendering a cool effect as it travels horizontally across moisture.

Static and water droplet only this time I funneled particles directly on to the droplet.

and finally, four frame stack of static and flint.


Suz said...

what a brain you have there Paul
Hope Ava paid attention

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