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Coulomb's law theoretical hypothetical question

  1. Jan 7, 2015 #1
    The Scenario:
    Lets say one could have a lot of cations produced from a gas in a single plane contained in a 1 square foot area (like a fence around sheep). This plane of cations is over another one that is on the ground. So basically two layers of Cations in a tall hollow cube like container such that the top layer is not pushed above the initial height by the bottom layer through repelling forces (magically forced to not go above initial height). Also the inside of the hollow cube like container is a vacuum except the before mentioned cations.
    Also magically, the bottom layer is not moving up or down and the ions in the top layer can only move down as a unit, i.e the whole plane of them.

    The question:
    Would the top layer of ions be able to hold an object off the ground (a Nerf ball) by using the repulsive force coming from the bottom layer or would it go through the top layer of cations because they are from a gas?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 7, 2015 #2


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    Why so complicated? This is electrostatic levitation. You don't need vacuum, magic or whatever, charged conducting surfaces are enough.
    There is one downside: you need supports at the side, or some active electronics keeping the arrangement stable.
  4. Jan 7, 2015 #3
    Because I want to shoot it and have it deflect bullets like a shield in star wars or something similar.
  5. Jan 7, 2015 #4


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    You want to use electrostatics to deflect a bullet?
  6. Jan 7, 2015 #5
    Yes, like those wind tunnels used to practice skydiving except they are charged particles to work closer to the surface.
  7. Jan 7, 2015 #6


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    Electrostatics won't deflect a bullet. The bullet isn't charged and won't experience a force.
  8. Jan 7, 2015 #7
    But the nerf ball will be floating like the one in the original setup? I was assuming also the object was not charged.
  9. Jan 7, 2015 #8


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    I doubt it. It's uncharged so it would probably just fall through the gas.
  10. Jan 7, 2015 #9
    Ok thanks
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