YouTuber Puts a Tesla Coil in a Vacuum Chamber to See if it Sparks

The host of The Action Lab put a Tesla coil, the holy grail of electricity, in a vacuum chamber and filmed what happened.
Loukia Papadopoulos

YouTuber The Action Lab is back with another one of his popular science-based experiments and this time it stars a Tesla coil. This coil has been called the holy grail of electricity and has inspired quite a few experiments.

From assembling nanotubes in force fields to being used in a gun, this part has many creative applications. But how would it do in a vacuum chamber? Would it spark?

That is the question this YouTube show host with a PhD in Chemical Engineering seeks to answer and in the process, he sparks some very pretty purple lights. But that is not all.

"In this video, I show you what happens when you put a Tesla Coil in a Vacuum chamber! Will it still spark. Can there be sparks in a vacuum? Then I talk about a really cool law that relates electric sparks to pressure Paschen's law," says the video's description.

The law is the equation that gives the breakdown voltage (the voltage needed to start a discharge) between two electrodes in a gas as a function of pressure and gap length. It is named after German physicist Friedrich Paschen who discovered it empirically in 1889 and in this video it makes for some pretty nifty effect.