Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

A bad idea

  1. Sep 20, 2003 #1
    A Weird Idea

    I have this idea, i know it is not really good (i already realised some of its weakness), but i thought i will put it here, since i believe that as it gets discussed (if it will) i might learn sth new.
    Ok, my idea is like a new way to make world-wide communication, without using EM waves.
    What we would actually do is that we make a layer of an easy-to-ionize gas on a very high altitude, and we put another layer of a hard-to-ionize gas above and under it (we can make a lot of those layers, more like lot of sandwiches over each other).
    What i mean by high altitude is higher than the place where air moves, iow, an altitude in which the layers will not mix with each other.
    Now, we will also have floating baloons in the easy-to-ionize layers, those baloons will be attached to earth by a wire (yes, i can imagine how long will that be ). On the baloon there will be somekind of metalic plate that is connected to the wire (an electric wire).
    When someone wants to send an information, he will ionize the whole layer (i didn't realize how yet !), and start sending his info. All places that have baloons in this layer will receive the electrical signal.

    So far, i have reached the following problems :
    1-You will need lot of gas.
    2-Having a layer of gas over the whole globe may make enviromental problems.
    3-Ionizing the gas will need lot of energy (if it can all be ionized from the first place !).
    4-The ballons may not fly, taking into account that the presusre of the gas on that high attitude will be low, so so will be its density.
    5-You will need lot of wires, and you also might need amplifiers along the wires, to magnify the signal (since they will be too long), or maybe you will need a wire with an extremly low resistance.
    6-You will have too much wires in the air ? Problems with planes or sth ?
    7-If a storm comes, you might find the whole system upside-down.

    So, any suggestion/comments/etc ? Say anything, anything you think about the whole idea.
    I think i will get a lot of "DUH" replies, but, it worth trying :smile: .
    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2003
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 26, 2003 #2
    sending signal means modulating some carrier. In your case, electric field. Varying electric field causes EM waves. So, you'd still be using EM waves to transfer signal.
    You basically use ionised gas as large antenna for radio.

    Simpler would be to pull all those wires where you want your signal.

    As well you could send up balloons with reflective coating at necessary frequencies, and "shoot" them with Masers from ground.
  4. Nov 4, 2003 #3
    weird idea :) but your problem is gas, because it wouldnt be stable enough. heavy ions are stable, like xenon, but they are hard to get and expensive to manufacture. and sun could deionize them with it's photon emissions.

    btw, what's wrong with satellites? ;)
  5. Nov 5, 2003 #4
    I guess the topic's subject tells that there is nothing wrong with sattelites :P
    As i said, the idea is bad from the first place, but i thought that i would put it here to hear comments, and learn sth new :).
    Thanks for your replies zare, wimms.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook