I want to know if I could use a plasma ball to light up a UV poster that are typically activated by blacklights.

option 1: using light from the globe

According to my research it seems that the light produced from a plasma ball would be the wrong wavelength as blacklights produce light at 20 nm, plasma balls are filled with halogens which produce light of higher wavelengths. (please correct me if I'm wrong)

option 2: using EM from the globe

I wasn't exactly sure how to research EM's effects on minerals that fluoresce, but plasma globes have this effect on fluorescent light bulbs. Perhaps if I touched the poster to the ball it would fluoresce?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ you've asked if they produce blacklight, then stated that they don't and you have researched this? whats your goal here? $\endgroup$ – Alex Robinson Mar 12 '18 at 12:17
  • $\begingroup$ 20 nm is in the soft x-ray range. I would hope your blacklight is not producing that. $\endgroup$ – probably_someone Mar 19 '18 at 21:52

In the title you asked the following question:

Can a plasma ball light up minerals that fluoresce?

The plasma in a plasma ball surely emits some UV-A radiation (probably not much though) besides the visible light (note, blacklight is also referred to as UV-A light and ranges from $315-400\,\mathrm{nm}$, the value you stated seems to be wrong).

Your problem will be, however, that the glass surrounding the plasma ball (or plasma globe, the expression I am more used to) often blocks the UV radiation. So you will probably have a hard time trying to let your minerals fluoresce (but worth a try, I would say as plasma globes are cheap and fun to use).

You also mentioned that a fluorescent lamp lights up when being close to plasma globe - that is a different story and related to the gas inside of the lamp being ionized by strong electric fields (varying in time, RF fields) very close to the plasma globe.


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