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Q & A: Plasma Ball Colors - Seeing Double

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
Why are there two different colors of the plasma in the plasma ball?
- Ronell Booker
Detroit,MI USA
A:
Ronell -

I assume that you are referring to plasma balls like ours with both blue-ish and red-ish colors inside. This happens because the globe actually contains two different gases - helium (which glows blue) and neon (which glows orange-red). The combination of the gases causes the effect that you see.

An interesting thing that happened to us recently is that our plasma ball was damaged in a way that caused all of the helium to leak out. Now it only contains neon, and we only see the orange-red color. (I will try to add a picture of this if I can get a good one.)

For a very cool website on the different colors produced by different gases in plasma balls, click .

-Tamara

(published on 10/22/2007)

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