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Red Sparks

In the next section, we introduce another participant in this plasma light show, the red spark. These sparks, thinner and more elongated than their blue counterparts, bring another layer of quantum complexity to our candle experiment.

A Snapshot

The Merge

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(1-3) When two blue sparks merge, the combined system has a higher energy than the individual sparks. This is due to the additive effect of their energies.

 

(4) Momentum generated when the two sparks merge must be conserved within this system. In this case, this momentum is conserved through the generation(lasing) of a red spark. Before the red spark can fully separate, however, it is pulled back into the blue spark due to the attractive forces within the larger blue spark.

 

(5) Upon reabsorption into the blue spark, the energy of the red spark is quickly redistributed among the atoms within the blue spark. 

 

This process demonstrates an intriguing interplay of energy, momentum, and light in this complex system. It illustrates how a relatively simple action (merging of sparks) can lead to a cascade of quantum mechanical events.

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blue + red

The emergence of red sparks along with the blue sparks may be interpreted as a manifestation of quantum phenomena at the macroscopic level for a key reason:

Quantization of Energy Levels: The fact that the sparks are observed to be either blue or red, corresponding to well-defined energy transitions in atoms, indicates that the energy levels are quantized. This is a hallmark of quantum behavior where energy levels are discrete rather than continuous.

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