# Converting Proton Kenetic Energy to Electicity

Hello,
What methods are there to turn a moving proton or any positively charged ion into electricity. Does a positively charged ion, when moving, create an electromagnetic field like an electron will? If it moves through a negatively charged field of similar strength, slowing it down in effect, can that engergy be converted into electricity? Thanks!

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Simon Bridge
Homework Helper
Hello,
What methods are there to turn a moving proton or any positively charged ion into electricity.
For photons: photo-electric effect.
For +Q: any moving charge is an electric current already.
Does a positively charged ion, when moving, create an electromagnetic field like an electron will?
Yes
If it moves through a negatively charged field of similar strength, slowing it down in effect, can that engergy be converted into electricity?
1. Electric fields don't have charge.
2. You generate energy from fields that accelerate the object - not slow it down.
Consider: do you get electricity from water by squirting it uphill or by letting it flow down-hill?

If you happen to know a beam of protons is passing by some place then you can harvest energy from it by putting something in the way to catch them. Normal conservation of momentum applies. However - the "something" will also get more and more positively charged. If you hook a wire from the ground to the "something" then electrons can flow from the ground attracted by the positive charge - presto: electric current.

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Maybe I didn't ask the question correctly. I read this in a paper:

Alpha particles, which are helium atoms stripped of their two electrons, have a charge of +2. Each of the particles produced by this reaction has a kinetic energy of around 3 million electron volts. An electron volt is the energy a particle of charge 1 will pick up when accelerated through a field of 1 volt. The reverse is true, too. To slow down a 3 MeV particle with a charge of +2, simply decelerate it with a +1.5 million volt electric field. The particle will just kiss into the charged surface, and draw two electrons from it, producing current at high voltage.

This is what I am trying to better understand and see whether something similar is being used in any current applications.

Simon Bridge
Homework Helper
I read this in a paper.
Which paper?
The quoted section basically says what I did.
This is what I am trying to better understand...
What is it you don't understand?
...and see whether something similar is being used in any current applications.
There are many applications using the phenomena mentioned.

I read it a paper describing how to build an amateur fuser. Can you read it here:

http://www.fusor.net/newbie/files/Ligon-QED-IE.pdf

Page 15 is where I got the quote from.

I have no plans to make a break even fusor, but I have bought all the parts to assemble a fusor, and I thought it would be interesting/challenging to pull electricity (as little as I may get from it) back out of the system. So, was pondering a design to do that.

I am trying to understand exactly how it would be done in application. If I had a stream of moving ions/helions, how to convert that to electricity.

Simon Bridge
Homework Helper
The simplest way to get energy from a stream of ions is to put a bit of metal in the way like I said. Ions hit the metal and make it charged. The charges make electrons in the metal move - that's an electric current.

The fusor's are intended to be fusion reactors - the energy output is supposed to be heat.

You would extract energy from a working fusor via a thermocouple or a steam engine... or something more exotic. AFAIK: all the effort is directed at getting one going.

Have you seen fusor.net?
Though you should be careful reading about fusors since there is a lot of rubbish around.

I understand that is the traditional way to get energy from a fusor, but I wanted to do something different, in the interest of science and fun. Yes, I have spent hours on that site.

Any other ideas?

Simon Bridge
Homework Helper
I understand that is the traditional way to get energy from a fusor...
It is not a question of tradition - reality is dictating what is possible.
You can only get energy off what comes out of the fusor. There's not a lot of variation and I have already given you examples of each kind available. You should be able to go from there.
I wanted to do something different, ... Any other ideas?
Imagination and innovation is not cheap. If you'd prefer a rundown, in detail, of the technological options - I'll be happy to send you a shedule of my fees. Free ideas you'll have to come up with yourself. Sorry.

It has been done with alpha emitters, to produce electricity at a high voltage directly.

Very impractical though, so people use thermocouples to convert heat into electricity. One research project finally wants to build a real thermal engine around the radioactive source - but with pistons instead of turbines, stupids.

Simon Bridge