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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: Sep 8, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 8, 2017 #2


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    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


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    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


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    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.
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