1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

B Directional electron cloud/separating ions from free electrons

  1. Sep 8, 2017 #1
    If you were sending microwaves one direction to ionize a gas, would you be able to pull or separate the atoms from these directionalized electrons? Say you had a magnetic coil with a strong e field pulling the atoms one way while the microwaves were trying to push the electrons the other way-is this in any way do-able with any existing devices?

    Thank you.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 8, 2017 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    What do you mean by "directionalized electrons"?
  4. Sep 8, 2017 #3
    By "directionalized electrons," I mean microwaves flowing in one direction, alternating the shape of the plasma plume so that the concentration of electrons is shifted to one side.
  5. Sep 8, 2017 #4
    Do you follow? I suppose something that is also a part of the original question is- how do you 'pull' a current from the plasma
  6. Sep 9, 2017 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2017 Award

    The mean field of the microwaves is zero so I can't see that there will be any net resultant force on either set of charges. However, once you have the plasma, a DC field will tend to separate the charges in two directions, though.
  7. Sep 9, 2017 #6
    Wouldn't having a constant generation of microwaves be practically the same as a DC field? What I was thinking is that if you could shift the negative charge of a plasma in one direction, then could you draw that current effectively by some type of circuit?

    I apologize for the broadness of my question..

    Thank you
  8. Sep 9, 2017 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2017 Award

    What does 'practically the same' mean? The mean value is Zero so where is the D.C.?
    To obtain DC power (in the form of a Current and a PD) you need some rectifying mechanism.
    If this isn't too intuitive for you then try a Google search for what you are after. If it were possible then there will be a device available to do it.
    Look up Magnetohydrodynamics for a design of electricity generator. Spot the essential difference between that and your idea.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted