Electric field created by Van de Graff splits ions in flame

A candle flame is hot enough to experience some charge separation. When a flame is placed inside a strong electric field, in this case generated by the Van de Graff charging a capacitor, the positive and negative ions separate and are pulled in different directions and this causes the flame to sputter and pull both to the right and left. A camera can be used to make the effect visible to an entire classroom.
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A camera can be set up to better show the flame. If a professor wants an experiment that is easier to see from close students a candle will show similar behavior if just brought near an operating Van de Graff. Candles are stored in a number of location but the largest repository is in Le Conte 51-2.