Carbon arcs (was Re: EPROM Erasers?)
mouse at Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA
Tue Sep 18 20:04:49 CDT 2007
> [...drive-in projectionist...carbon arcs...]
> Because the can was forced-air ventilated, the arc actually appeared
> as an upward-pointing flame (I'm sure that was just the incandescent
> carbon vapor glowing).
Burning, I'd guess; carbon vapour at just below plasma temperatures is
not going to be shy about combining with oxygen - which itself is
probably not much cooler - from air.
> Observation of the arc was always done by looking at the image
> projected onto a surface by a pinhole opening. There were "black
> glass" observation ports, but you were warned not look through them
> for any amount of time.
I'm reminded of reading of someone doing work that involved some
extreme heat sources - testing heat-shielding materials, I think it was
- and there was, out in the middle of a desert somewhere, an
underground torch whose flame emerged from a hole in the ground.
Something like magnesium dust in liquid oxygen, pumped (at well over
its flame propagation speed!) through the nozzle...I forget details.
Someone photograhed it from some miles away (about as close as the
camera would survive) and the picture looks like midnight even though
it was high noon; the torch easily outshone anything as piddly as the
sun. I imagine the ground was glass for some distance around, shortly
after the first burn started....
Not very useful for the home hobbyist with EPROMs to erase. But I
always find extremes interesting....
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