This is just a thought but I've been staring at the Plasma Ball on my desk for a while and after a while I realized the plasma rays/waves/beams seem to be generated in a different spot each time so I thought, is the spawn point of a plasma ray truly random or can it be determined?

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    $\begingroup$ One can probably come up with a fairly good set of equations for these systems which include the space charge distribution on the surface of the glass and the ionization in the gas. Before you try that I would suggest you record the dynamics of a ball with a couple of cameras for a while, extract the coordinates and then run a few autocorrelation functions for angular displacement to determine how much memory the system has. $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne Jul 5 '15 at 0:10
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    $\begingroup$ "Measurements of the Motion of Filaments in a Plasma Ball" M. Campanell, J. Laird1, T. Provost, S. Vasquez2, S.J. Zweben. It doesn't look too good for your hypothesis that the motion is random, instead the globes seem to have pretty good memory. $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne Jul 5 '15 at 0:24
  • $\begingroup$ @CuriousOne: that might be the basis for an answer, no? $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Jul 5 '15 at 11:31
  • $\begingroup$ @KyleKanos: I think you may be up to something there. Let me read the paper once more and I try to make a short summary of their most important findings. $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne Jul 5 '15 at 17:44

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