what causes an electric spark

Electric spark

Aug 04,  · An electric spark is a type of ESD wherein there is a flow of electric current across an air gap, increasing the air temperature, which produces light and sound emission. When the electric field strength exceeds the dielectric field strength in the air, there will be an increase in the number of free electrons in the air, thus the air momentarily becomes an electrical conductor through dielectric breakdown, causing an electric . Sep 09,  · Normal sparking from an electrical outlet When that power is suddenly diverted to an appliance, there will be a quick draw on the available power, causing a brief spark. Once the electrons are flowing freely, there should be no reason for a spark to form. This is Reviews:

Hi everyone! Why does electricity cause sparks? I have two scenarios in my mind, and i hope someone can provide me good answers. Why does it spark? What is actually happening?

And i do know that it might eectric caused by an overload or a short-circuit or stuff, i am not talking about what caused the sparking, but what is ehat when wbat occurs. Why not just burst into flames, or heat red hot like a metal filament or something?

Why does this occur? Your original question kind of got sidetracked into a discussion of how to do your own research. Wikipedia is a very good place to start with what causes an electric spark science questions like this one the people writing and editing the basic science tend to be grad students in the field, not wackos with axes to grind.

For this question, the sparks have nothing to do with combustion. The spark is a simple effect of ionization: the breakdown how to cook steak on the griddle is the field required to ionize nearby atoms; for air, the breakdown field is something like 12 kV.

When the free electrons recombine, they emit light, mostly electtic the low UV, violet, and blue part of the what causes an electric spark. Voltage creates an electric field, and the strength of the field elctric with the curvature of the surface. Near a sharp point like the end of wirethe surface has a very high curvature, so you get a very strong electric field, and consequently a small region of very high voltage VAC at a 0. Now, going back to the color of the sparks.

If the sparking goes on continuously, that temperature can build up enough heat for nearby electgic to catch fire. Also, breakdown through a solid like the edge of a plastic electrical plug can lead to resistive electfic of the material. Reply 8 years ago. Hmm yes, right you are!

I am doing my own research now, although i started out pretty late :. Wow, thanks for the explanation! Oh, so that explains it. I was wondering why they put small tips and not plates tip generate arcs. So even though we are actually applying a relatively small voltage of V, the small area of the tip leads to a pretty strong electric field. And that leads to dielectric breakdown. I hope i got everything right there!

As always, thanks for the simple explanation Dr. You're an undergraduate in electronic engineering. You will have access to the university library, and you're asking really basic electrical questions See that is what causes an electric spark problem. We are never taught anything practically noting, and our basics practically suck. Causfs they are interested are in acuses and percentage.

When you ask such questions in our eelctric, you are NEVER given proper answer as the lecturer is only interested in our syllabus. I understand i might look like a complete idiot asking such silly basic questions, but trust me, you have not seen anything.

See most of the students around here and you will understand what pathetic really means. All i ask is some patience in dealing with me as i am trying to come what causes an electric spark of the box, break free of our pathetic system and trying to gain some knowledge. Thank you :. They light years better than the crud you're getting now. I really don't understand why Indian education has what causes an electric spark the way it has, you have some of what is the correct temperature for a refrigerator best mathematicians and engineers on the planet, where the heck were they educated?

Also, the "By heart" system is encouraged right from schools, to high schools, right into college where what size mini bus can i drive keep following the same system Exempting really good ones.

There are a LOT of factors apart from these wpark to the overall result of what you see now: Mostly eletcric colleges, real good ones are few and far by, expensive and way lot of competition, bad faculty, bad mentality and so on.

Now, real intelligent people may be the result individual brilliance, and not causrs environment maybe. Hard to say. They are more concerned about marks and grades.

They think it will always lead to good jobs. So the csuses around here started "Learning by heart" to cope up with these demands. Almost all the top graders are whwt. And talking about library, we technically have do a library, but leectric pretty much useless books.

My only source of updated and fast information is the internet, ahat i had no access to until two years back.

How many have you opened and read them to say that? What you are talking about here is fundamental stuff, researched heavily for over years. Our "Library" isn't what you people would define one. While we have books, they are what cruise lines leave from norfolk va biased on our current syllabus, and quite honestly not detailed spari.

I intend no offense Steve, but the part of the country i come from is pretty underdeveloped. We don't have a proper library for college, nor in elecrtic area.

Also, the tendency of our people at-least most of them has developed such that they don't care about understanding things and aim to just score. You maybe coming from a highly developed place, and you might find it unusual, but this is the sad truth about my country.

The scarcity of resources and people has led to use internet as my primary source of eletric. What you call "BASIC", well no one answered this question, neither my peers, nor our faculty, who are basically fresh graduates. Heck, people think amplifiers are some "magical" devices that magically amplifies signals, ignoring law of conservation of energy, despite knowing it.

You can imagine how weak our basics are, despite getting all good grades in the state. This is the sad situation of our country. And quite honestly, i hate it for this very reason. All this time, i mostly just learned stuff off the internet.

So, please do try to be patient with me, and hopefully help me understand. Your profile says that you are pursuing a "graduation in electronics". I couldn't figure out from a Google search what that corresponds to. Steve assumes that it's equivalent to a Baccalaureate degree four years of college after secondary school.

Can you provide a bit more guidance on just what level you're at? Are you in a whah or technical "high school" secondary school before college? Are you at a technical institute? Are you at a university? Are you at a locally-supported two-year college?

How to clean beige leather bag, almost close. We don't exactly have supported colleges. For the answer, what causes an electric spark finished my secondary school i.

Your understanding cakses Steve's assumption is pretty much correct. Tech, as it is called here. Pardon me for not being clear. Follow Posted by charmquark in Workshop. Tags: electricity sparks. The forums are retiring in and are now elrctric for new topics and comments.

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For this question, the sparks have nothing to do with combustion. The spark is a simple effect of ionization: the breakdown voltage is the field required to ionize nearby atoms; for air, the breakdown field is something like 12 kV. When the free electrons recombine, they emit light, mostly in the low UV, violet, and blue part of the spectrum. Feb 05,  · Signs of dangerous outlet sparks include the following: The spark is bright and yellow. The spark lasts a few seconds. You smell smoke after the sparking occurs. You see burn marks on the outlet. The spark happens every time you use the outlet. /5. A static electricity spark is an electrostatic discharge (ESD) or sudden flow of electric current across an air gap, heating the air to high enough temperatures to cause it to glow. The size of the spark depends on the separation of the sources of electrical charges and their potential difference in voltage.

An electric spark is an abrupt electrical discharge that occurs when a sufficiently high electric field creates an ionized , electrically conductive channel through a normally-insulating medium, often air or other gases or gas mixtures.

Michael Faraday described this phenomenon as "the beautiful flash of light attending the discharge of common electricity". The rapid transition from a non-conducting to a conductive state produces a brief emission of light and a sharp crack or snapping sound. A spark is created when the applied electric field exceeds the dielectric breakdown strength of the intervening medium.

At the beginning stages, free electrons in the gap from cosmic rays or background radiation are accelerated by the electrical field. As they collide with air molecules, they create additional ions and newly freed electrons which are also accelerated.

At some point, thermal energy will provide a much greater source of ions. The exponentially-increasing electrons and ions rapidly cause regions of the air in the gap to become electrically conductive in a process called dielectric breakdown.

Once the gap breaks down, current flow is limited by the available charge for an electrostatic discharge or by the impedance of the external power supply. If the power supply continues to supply current, the spark will evolve into a continuous discharge called an electric arc. An electric spark can also occur within insulating liquids or solids, but with different breakdown mechanisms from sparks in gases.

Lightning is an example of an electric spark in nature, while electric sparks, large or small, occur in or near many man-made objects, both by design and sometimes by accident. In , Leibniz discovered that sparks were associated with electrical phenomena. In Franklin's famous kite experiment , he successfully extracted sparks from a cloud during a thunderstorm. Electric sparks are used in spark plugs in gasoline internal combustion engines to ignite fuel and air mixtures.

The voltage for the spark is provided by an ignition coil or magneto that is connected to the spark plug with an insulated wire. Flame igniters use electric sparks to initiate combustion in some furnaces and gas stoves in place of a pilot flame. A spark-gap transmitter uses an electric spark gap to generate radio frequency electromagnetic radiation that can be used as transmitters for wireless communication.

They were later supplanted by vacuum tube systems and by were no longer used for communication. The wide use of spark-gap transmitters led to the nickname "sparks" for a ship's radio officer. Electric sparks are used in different kinds of metalworking. Electric discharge machining EDM is sometimes called spark machining and uses a spark discharge to remove material from a workpiece. Spark plasma sintering SPS is a sintering technique that uses a pulsed direct current that passes through a conductive powder in a graphite die.

The light that is produced by electric sparks can be collected and used for a type of spectroscopy called spark emission spectroscopy. A high energy pulsed laser can be used to produce an electric spark.

Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy LIBS is a type of atomic emission spectroscopy that uses a high pulse energy laser to excite atoms in a sample. Electric sparks can also be used to create ions for mass spectrometry.

Sparks can be hazardous to people, animals or even inanimate objects. Electric sparks can ignite flammable materials, liquids, gases and vapors. Even inadvertent static-discharges, or small sparks that occur when switching on lights or other circuits, can be enough to ignite flammable vapors from sources like gasoline, acetone, propane, or dust concentrations in the air, such as those found in flour mills or more generally in factories handling powders.

Sparks often indicate the presence of a high voltage, or "potential field". The higher the voltage; the farther a spark can jump across a gap, and with enough energy supplied can lead to greater discharges such as a glow or an arc.

When a person is charged with high-voltage static-charges, or is in the presence of high-voltage electrical supplies, a spark can jump between a conductor and a person who is in close enough proximity, allowing the release of much higher energies that can cause severe burns, shut down the heart and internal organs, or even develop into an arc flash. High-voltage sparks, even those with low energy such as from a stun gun , can overload the conductive pathways of the nervous system, causing involuntary muscle-contractions, or interfere with vital nervous-system functions such as heart rhythm.

When the energy is low enough most of it may be used just heating the air, so the spark never fully stabilizes into a glow or arc. However, sparks with very low energy still produce a "plasma tunnel" through the air, through which electricity can pass. This plasma is heated to temperatures often greater than the surface of the sun, and can cause small, localized burns. Conductive liquids, gels or ointments are often used when applying electrodes to a person's body, preventing sparks from forming at the point of contact and damaging skin.

Similarly, sparks can cause damage to metals and other conductors, ablating or pitting the surface; a phenomenon which is exploited in electric etching. Sparks also produce ozone which, in high enough concentrations, can cause respiratory discomfort or distress, itching, or tissue damage, and can be harmful to other materials such as certain plastics.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about electric sparks. For other kinds of sparks, see Spark. Physical Review. Bibcode : PhRv Electricity in the 17th and 18th centuries: a study of early Modern physics. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN The Bosch book of the Motor Car, Its evolution and engineering development.

Martin's Press. LCCN OCLC Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology, 5E. Chicago, Ill: Chicago Review Press. History of telegraphy. London: Institution of Electrical Engineers. Electrical discharge machining. Dearborn, Mich: Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Journal of Materials Science. Bibcode : JMatS..

Applied Spectroscopy. Bibcode : ApSpe.. Handbook of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy. New York: John Wiley. Review of Scientific Instruments. Bibcode : RScI Wilson, Charles A. Categories : Electrical breakdown Plasma physics. Hidden categories: Commons category link is on Wikidata Articles with Hungarian-language sources hu. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file.

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