I think is this the right exchange site to ask, since it’s more about current actual electronic construction than the movie itself (but if not, please direct me to the correct one).

In the 1955 movie This Island Earth, they blow out their XC condenser (capacitor).

xc condenser Our licorice ice cream cones melted!

The replacements that they got are small beads. xc bead

The wormy guy Joe Wilson states he blew one up at 33,000 Volts with no leakage. Cal Meacham then goes and tests another one and blows it at 35 kV DC. They don't mention the farad rating.

So what I’m wondering is: can capacitors now a-days of similar (although vague) specifications be made to this physical size or if not, have they gotten any smaller?

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    \$\begingroup\$ At 33-35kV I would mainly be concerned about creepage between the terminals (arcing over the surface of the device). The air would ionize at those points, and the capacitor would basically be bypassed by the arc travelling through the air and/or along the surface of the capacitor \$\endgroup\$ – DerStrom8 Feb 2 '17 at 15:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Try looking at what distributors offer i.e. do some back ground research. Digikey, mouser, Farnell, RS etc.... \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Feb 2 '17 at 15:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ That small one would need to be immersed in transformer oil or SF6 gas to withstand the voltage with a very clean surface on the "capacitor" itself. Also, what an unusual thing to feature in a movie. Need to look it up. \$\endgroup\$ – winny Feb 2 '17 at 15:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ you mean like this sort of thing alibaba.com/showroom/30kv-high-voltage-ceramic-capacitor.html \$\endgroup\$ – JIm Dearden Feb 2 '17 at 16:02

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