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Violet Wands And Xrays?

Violet wands and Xrays

Sometimes some glass household bulbs used with violet wands fluoresce green. Now and then you might hear a concern expressed by newer wand users that they may be producing x-rays because these bulbs fluoresce green. It’s one of those myths where a little education can become Chicken Little (“It glows green! It must be x-rays! Run!”)

But these bulbs are not producing x-rays. You can’t get x-rays from any plain household bulb and a power supply. Your violet wand is not really mysterious, its just a high voltage power supply, that’s really all it is. A violet wand contains nothing special in it that, combined with any household light bulb, could produce an actual x-ray. If all you do is hook up a household lightbulb to any HV power supply, including a violet wand as your HV power supply, you’re never going to get an x-ray. 

That’s the basic bottom line so you can relax, but maybe you want to know more?  Some more advanced info ahead:

When the current passes through an electrode or a lightbulb, the electricity (the moving electrons) ionize the gas inside, making ions and providing the color that we see.  Sometimes the ionization hits the glass of the bulb or electrode and causes the glass itself to react.  This purposefully occurs in electrodes made of cerium doped quartz (glows bright electric blue), vaseline glass (glows eerie green) or sometimes some of the smaller household bulbs.  The reaction of the smaller clear lightbulbs that glow green is an ionization that produces cathode rays. The cathode rays occur because the electrons are traveling in the small bulb at such speed over the small size of the bulb, that they strike the glass, causing it to fluoresce. This is exactly how CRT TV’s and computer monitors work!  If you love science, to know that you’re making a TV-type screen with your violet wand and a bit of glass is kind of mind-boggling. CRT=Cathode Ray Tube.

vaseline glass

 

Due to the properties of this glass in the electrode at left, the glass of the Dom electrode itself fluoresces bright electric blue when excited by electricity (bombarded with electrons.)  The gas inside is red.

The green glowing orb in the electrode at right, is made of vaseline glass, a glass that fluoresces green when excited by electricity. There are other types of glass that glow when excited by electricity, but they don’t produce x-rays.

 

The energy output from a violet wand and glowing glass is even less than your tv, and carries the same risk as holding your arm up to a CRT computer monitor. All CRTs used in the old type computers and tv monitors put out ‘radiation’, but its not x-rays or dangerous, and the FDA has safety guidelines regarding how much CRT radiation is safe. TVs fall within the FDA safety requirements, and so do fluorescing household bulbs–well within it and far less than Television CRTs. Not to worry! They may glow an eerie green, but are -well- within CRT safety requirements.

Cathode rays. Now you know.

violet wand x rays

Geiger counters detect ALL kinds of ionization, including glowing glass effects such as shown by the electrodes above.  They will activate even for all harmless ionization too including background radiation and certain types of decorative glass, your old CRT (cathode ray tube) televisions and computer monitors, they will pick up readings from granite counter tops, and they will even pick up and tick from the potassium in bananas and in your daily vitamins!!   Because they click for any and all ionization, they require expert training to take all factors into consideration to know what Geiger counter readings mean.

Lets take it a step farther and get into some advanced stuff, just because.   Are you into geeky science experimenting with your violet wand? You CAN get x-rays by using your violet wand as the power supply. Remember, your violet wand is JUST the HV power supply. So to get x-rays, you need to find: an x-ray tube (though those are regulated) or some other glass evacuated bulb or tube under very high vacuum that contains an anode. That means procuring an actual x-ray bulb….or you can substitute an old, very high vacuum ‘radio’ tube containing an anode.

Here’s how you rig up a home made x-ray machine with an old radio tube in place of an x-ray bulb: http://www.dangerouslaboratories.org/xray1.html
Note that the degree of vacuum in the vacuum tube is critical to achieve x-rays, and can’t be done with just any high vacuum tube, either, as it requires BOTH a high vacuum radio tube AND a positive anode inside the tube, to cause the cathode rays to emit x-rays. The vacuum has to be very high, something not found in any household lightbulb.  You can find other similar articles on the wb.

But if you had an antique hard vacuum radio tube that contains an anode, you could use these instructions to create a homemade xray machine and substitute a violet wand in place of the Ion Ray Gun and you COULD generate x-rays with a violet wand. But yes, with the right equipment and a homemade x-ray machine you COULD get x-rays from your wand! You just could never do this with something as simple like any household light bulb and zapping a person. Your wand is just a power supply, so you would have to get yourself an actual x-ray bulb and use your wand as the HV power supply, OR use a vacuum tube that has properties similar to an x-ray bulb and your wand as the power supply.

Wanda, I’d like to play with a bulb that looks like a radio tube because it has such neat visuals.  Is this possible? What if you like to push the envelope while playing? There are different types of radiation and different levels of risk that go with them. If you have a strange radio-tube looking bulb that you don’t recognize as a household bulb and you think might be a radio tube, and it glows green, you might be able to start testing a fluorescing bulb with a Geiger counter if you want to eliminate the risk to be able to use it on someone. But, if you’re going to do this, you need to know how to count out the background radiation, and know if your ticks are for alpha or beta particles, and how much radiation is indicated by those ticks, and what kind and what it means. You should know how to use a block of wood to eliminate the cathode rays present, and then have the training necessary to know if your remaining ticks translate to a problem radiation or x-rays. Or, you could learn to use a camera to test for x-rays, or use a dosimeter if you are just dying to use the bulb.  All of that requires training so believe me, its best to not use any radio tubes and stick with household lightbulbs off the shelf.

Summing it up–

-As a rule- low vacuum bulbs without anodes just don’t have the necessary equipment to produce x-rays which could translate to problem levels of radiation. A glowing green bulb with a wand is just producing cathode rays, the same as your old TV you traded in when you got your flat screen plasma…but even less than your old tv.

Err on the safe side, just use household lightbulbs to play with someone. No plain old household lightbulb will ever be a problem with a violet wand, and there are plenty of varieties of those to choose from. Enjoy the fun.

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