Talk:Electric arc

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Untitled[edit]

Can melt or vaporize "virtually anything?" What is that supposed to mean? Sounds like a magic weapon! Maybe be specific on hardnesses of things it can't melt? I don't know enough about it, but that made me laugh.

This is a little late I guess, but what it means is that an arc's temperature is typically anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 degrees F, or greater. In other words, a temperature ranging from a yellow star to a blue giant. That is well beyond the vaporization point of any material, including carbon (even in the form of diamond). Zaereth (talk) 00:20, 9 February 2018 (UTC)

—Preceding unsigned comment added by 147.154.235.51 (talk) 18:59, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

It is generally dangerous to look at an electric arc (except perhaps from a great distance), because it generally makes UV radiation that can be blinding, as I have been told. You might want to add that here on the arc page - and even flag it in your front page article on welding.Pdn 02:25, 31 May 2005 (UTC)


We have tons of articles about arcs and sparks but I am still not clear on the differences between each. See Talk:Spark gap#Clarify the difference for some questions I have about the different kinds of discharge. - Omegatron 14:20, August 2, 2005 (UTC)


Does the magnetic field of the arc "attract" itself and change its shape? I know the shape changes due to heating of the air and convection. It seems like maybe the magnetic field would twist the arc? Just a hunch. - Omegatron 13:40, August 5, 2005 (UTC)


There seems to be an incorrect use of the word "etch" in the "Plasma Path" section. Also, the entire section seems anecdotal and non-essential. -- Brian Williams

I deleted plasma path section --Vladimír Fuka 19:55, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Electrical properties[edit]

A glow discharge is not an arc. Discuss current vs. voltage characteristics of arcs; higher current arcs need less voltage to sustain them, so there is an incremental negative resistance (source of many interesting properties). Discuss the regieme of currents - arcs only appear at fractions of an amp and upwards; microamp and nanoamp discharges aren't arcs. I'll have to read A. H. Howatson, An Introduction to Gas Discharges, Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1965 again this weekend. --Wtshymanski 20:37, 18 September 2007 (UTC)


Can someone include some science in this artical which discribes the physics as to how an electrical arc occurs? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 172.201.224.96 (talk) 15:48, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Removed paragraph for copyvio[edit]

Removed a paragraph from the Undesired arcing section. Copied from this source provided as a citation, which doesn't make it okay. I don't have a grasp of the material adequate to attempt a rewrite. Richigi (talk) 00:32, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

Lightning not an arc[edit]

Lightning IS NOT an arc discharge as your photograph states, it is an electrostatic discharge, a spark. Here is your own article. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightning

Does anyone check this stuff? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Morzh (talkcontribs) 02:03, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

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Fluorescent lamp is not an arc lamp[edit]

I'm not definitive, but I'm fairly certain fluorescent lighting is a glow discharge, not an arc. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 206.167.166.109 (talk) 10:37, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

Fluorescent lamps near the end of their life. They no longer have enough pressure to maintain an arc, so they begin opering as a glow. Note the striations, which are caused by the so-called Faraday cones of the glow discharge. If they lose more pressure they'll change to DC-bias operation, in which they'll only be lit on one side.
It depends on the type of fluorescent lamp. Most fluorescent lamps emit electrons from the cathode due to thermionic emission. This is why rapid-start lamps actually preheat the cathode. By definition, the thermionic emission of electrons is an arc. However, it is a low-pressure arc, so that it emits more spectral lines than continuum radiation and is fat enough to fill the tube.
Cold-cathode fluorescent lamps operate using a glow discharge, basically operating like a neon light. These don't require a ballast, because they operate at a much higher voltage and pressure, and the reactance of the transformer is enough to limit the current. These are most often used for back-lighting for flat-screen TVs and similar applications. I hope that helps. For more info see Fluorescent lamp. Zaereth (talk) 17:53, 8 February 2018 (UTC)