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Static electricity. A child plays with a plasma globe in a museum. A plasma globe is a large glass vessel, containing a gas at low pressure. A voltage of static electricity is applied between the metal sphere at centre and the glass. Static discharge across the gas causes its atoms to lose their electrons, a 'plasma' state. When the nuclei and their electrons recombine, they emit a characteristic color light. Placing an object against the glass, such as the child's hand, concentrates the local static charge and creates the beautiful 'streamer' effect seen here. Photographed at the Boston Museum of Science. MODEL RELEASED (1991)

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USA_SCI_LIG_12_xs.jpg
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©Peter Menzel, www.menzelphoto.com
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Static electricity. A child plays with a plasma globe in a museum. A plasma globe is a large glass vessel, containing a gas at low pressure. A voltage of static electricity is applied between the metal sphere at centre and the glass. Static discharge across the gas causes its atoms to lose their electrons, a 'plasma' state. When the nuclei and their electrons recombine, they emit a characteristic color light. Placing an object against the glass, such as the child's hand, concentrates the local static charge and creates the beautiful 'streamer' effect seen here. Photographed at the Boston Museum of Science. MODEL RELEASED (1991)