Can an Aurora Borealis be captured or manufactured?
Continuously changing three-dimensional lights dancing in the sky. What humans named Aurora is an abstract and ephemeral phenomenon of energy and matter. Its form, colour, and movements are a direct clue to its essence and the materials it is created from. 
Standing in awe, one can admire nature's display of the true interplay of matter, energy, and magnetism. „Shrine for Dancing Spirits“explores the forces of this phenomenon and undertakes to answer the question of whether we can capture the true essence of an Aurora.

In collaboration with Verena Bachl
                A visual scale of pressure ranging up to 99.993% of vacuum seen as a white-blue shine. Simple tubes as test chambers to create the first vacuum-plasma in a small volume and with only limited voltage.
Magnetic field lines deform the plasma in a small container (Magnetic pole orientation from top left to bottom right: N-S, S-N, N-N, S-S).
                Increasing chamber volumes to mimic volumes spanned by Auroras while experimenting with the electrodes' shape, size and distribution.
When Helium is introduced to the chamber, it results in a brighter white-pinkish shine compared to the only remaining oxygen in a vacuum (see below). However, it proved difficult to maintain the ratio of vacuum pressure to parts of helium in the atmosphere inside the test chambers.
               Rather than controlling a larger volume of plasma, which proved difficult due to the attenuation of low-energy magnetic fields, an electron gun allowed for the specific ionisation of a sphere, which could be shaped by custom electromagnets. 
Can the essence of an Aurora Borealis, the true phenomenon, be captured? 

Oversimplified: Yes…
…but only by enormous energy expenditure and constant pressure and gas composition regulation. 
Back to Top