An electric field can breakdown the insulation properties of air. This creates a mass of oppositely charged ions and electrons that can be pulled towards opposite directions inside the electric field. In this demonstration, we use the plume of a candle flame as the course of plasma. This is a rich structure and would bifurcate into two streams of ions – ionic winds! – moving in opposite directions. The winds can be strong enough to extinguish the flame.

Here is a video demonstration of this effect followed by some photographs of the setup.

Candle in the wind: electric fields can produce ionic winds from Sabieh Anwar on Vimeo.