A DEMONSTRATION OF KEN SHOULDERS'
'CHARGE CLUSTER' PHENOMENA
NOTE: I find that the K. Shoulders claims don't make sense unless one
first realizes that Ken is claiming that small, needle-shaped sparks are
not sparks at all! Instead, a high-speed camera sees them as intensely
bright points, microscopic "stars" moving at high speed. They are not
normal plasma streamers, instead they seem to be brilliant glowing
particles. However, the same electrodes CAN produce the famaliar
fractal-shaped spark processes rather than needle-sparks. For example, a
classroom VandeGraaff machine produces several different types of
discharge, including branching tortuous "lightning," various corona-glows,
as well as the bright
non-fractal "needle-sparks." Ken Shoulders entire discovery is that the
familiar needle-sparks are not sparks; instead they are traveling
"micro-bullets" which can vaporize narrow tunnels in metal foils and
refractory materials, they take the form of a small torus of smaller
separate points, and can be guided by fabbed surface-structures on ceramic
wafers. - billb
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 2000 11:15:57 -0700
From: Hal Fox <halfox a uswest,net>
Subject: Something for School
Dear William Beaty,
Ken Shoulders, in one of his papers, describes the following. It is a
very instructive experiment and may lead some students to become one of
the early charge-cluster engineers.
Use standard aluminum foil. Coat it with a mixture of finest
silicon carbide powder (used as a grinding powder for polishing)
mixed with enough epoxy to make it stick.
There is nothing exotic about mixing the epoxy and silicon
carbide granules. We used black friction tape applied to the
aluminum foil and then squeegee the paste onto the layer between
the two tapes. You can try different thicknesses. We determined
that about 0.006 inches was about optimum.
Connect a high voltage d.c. connection to the foil and the other
to a needle. You will need to have a high-voltage source, such
as from a TV power supply (from any old TV). Try the aluminum
for both positive and negative connections. Slowly bring the
needle closer to the aluminum (black coating toward the needle).
[ POWER SUPPLY MAY BE IMPORTANT! Scott Little of
Earthtech tried all this, and never produced the claimed effects.
Certainly he didn't precisely replicate the exact conditions.
Shoulders perhaps assumes that EVOs are easy to produce,
forgetting that Murphy's Law says that everyone else will fail,
because everyone else used a different setup (different epoxy,
different size of SiC powder, different HVDC power supply, different
humidity, different lab lightning, etc., etc.)
Chances are that Shoulders hit on this demo through sheer luck,
and when everyone else attempts it, changes were made, and it doesn't
work. What was the exact source of each material? What was the
model number and voltage setting of the HVDC supply? Unknown!
According to textbooks, it requires about 10,000 volts per
centimeter to establish a spark or an arc. Have students
determine at what distance and at what voltage arcs or sparks
appear in this experiment.
You will note that you can create a visible (especially in the
dark) flow of ions (probably caused by electrons bombarding air
molecules) between the needle and the aluminum before the spark
zaps. In addition, you will find the following:
1. Sparks are produced at much lower voltages than the textbooks
2. The spark will entirely vaporize the silicon carbide (which
has a very high vaporization temperature). Have students look up
the melting and vaporization temperatures.
3. There will be a hole in the aluminum.
4. You may observe (when aluminum is anode) that the spark goes
past the aluminum and turns around and goes back to the aluminum
Why does this arrangement produce sparks/arcs at lower voltages.
I suggest that it is because most of the voltage drop is across
the non-conducting silicon carbide layer. This is a method of
creating a charge cluster.
Ken works much with single shots. He charges a small capacitor
to a given high voltage (maybe several hundred volts). It is
easy to measure the voltage on the capacitor before a "shot" and
after the shot and compute the energy used. Similarly, the
output is captured in a capacitor. It is easy to compute the
power output supplied to the capacitor. Shoulders has shown that
it is relatively easy to get ten times as much electrical energy
out as input electrical energy. The trick is to provide an input
pulse that is very short to make the charge cluster and to make
the output pulse as wide as possible. This is not simple because
one needs to produce clusters using nanosecond, high-voltage
transcription of video interview https://steemit.com/dtube/@mfmp/nzssv2y3
An EVO demo from Hal Fox http://amasci.com/weird/evexp.html
2001 version on archive.org is missing
http://tinyurl.com/KShouldersBook on google drive
physical archive: paper collection, VHS tapes, film, etc.
NOTE FROM BILLB:
I accidentally discovered something similar. When producing glows with a
120V incandescent light bulb using a Tesla Coil, some bulbs don't do
"plasma bulb" at all. Instead the glass surface flickers green or blue,
but there's no gas discharge or colorful streamers inside. Unlike
most incandescent bulbs, these bulbs
contain hard vacuum. Long aquarium bulbs and 'exit-sign' replacement
bulbs are typical examples, as are large "oldschool" incandescent
Christmas lights as well as tiny "grain of wheat" bulbs.
They can generate x-rays. But very strangely,
they often become perforated by invisibly small pores after some exposure
to the TC high voltage. (I was using a hand-held "vacuum tester" coil,
and more than once caused accidental micro-holes in bulbs.
I first noticed the effect in 1984 at MOS Boston, when using a
VandeGraaff machine to 'zap' an aquarium-bulb held in my hand. I hoped to
create visible blue plasma flashes for use by teachers with VDG machines.
But instead, nothing. At first the glass
surface flashed green. But then during numerous further discharges,
obvious violet flashes of plasma-glows were finally seen in the space
inside the bulb.
But then, oddly they grew progressively dimmer and dimmer, then
finally disappeared, and were
normal white sparks inside the bulb. The VDG had somehow drilled a
microscopic hole right through the glass bulb, gradually letting in
the air which produced a visible glow. (The hole was visible under bright
light: an extremely tiny "dust speck" on the surface that couldn't be
wiped off.) The location of the hole was adjacent to a sharp
filament-support, as if the grounded sharp wire tip had been launching
some sort of "disintegrator ray" which drilled an incredibly tiny hole
through the glass. WEEEEEIRD!
Years later, for the Long Beach #17
2011 Conference on "natural
philosophy" I attempted to use a microwave oven to generate x-rays, by
including a row of ?seven? aquarium-bulbs standing vertically in sockets
in a plastic bracket. Didn't work very well, and afterwards, I found that
one of the bulbs was full of air! I became suspicious about this, and
soon found that over weeks/months, the rest of the bulbs started flashing
violet/orange inside, or even had risen to 1ATM pressure, easily shown
when briefly zapped with a handheld vacuum-tester Tesla Coil. They ALL
had developed nano-perforations, but apparently with various sizes and
various leak-rates. (Hmm, I now recall that only one of those bulbs
didn't leak at all. Perhaps it had accidentally been positioned in a node
inside the microwave oven, and wasn't subjected to the normal EHT fields
present in the intense EM standing-wave present in empty microwave ovens.)