Water bridge (5mm length, 1mm diameter) between two glasses filled with heavy water, under a voltage of 15 kV.
In 1893 Sir William Armstrong reported a remarkable experiment: if a high voltage is established between two wine-glasses filled to the brim with pure water and connected by a cotton thread, a rope of water is formed and remains suspended between the lips of the two glasses. This "water bridge" can subsist for a few seconds even once the thread has been removed .
Recently, a group of physicists from Graz University, Austria  succeeded on establishing a bridge (without any thread!) between the two glasses under a voltage of 20 kV. The length of the bridge may reach values larger than 1 cm, its diameter is of the order of a few mm and the lifetime currently exceeds 1 hour. Under the effect of the electrical field, the local temperature increases and reaches 60° C, a temperature sufficient to break the bridge. More...
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Last update : 08/30 2011 (1601)