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!

Ion generator in space?

  1. Jan 19, 2015 #1
    Will an Ion generator work in space??

    And how does it normalyl work? Does it push upon the ions in the air, or does it actually throw electrons, and this spins the rotor?

    This is an Ion generator:
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 19, 2015 #2

    Andy Resnick

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

  4. Jan 20, 2015 #3

    Ion thrusters work, but you'll need a supply of atoms to be ionized.It's also reallly hard to ionize the atoms before they fly off un-ionized and unaccelerated and yet let the ions escape after they are accelerated. Sticking that mill in a vacuum and providing a high voltage won't do anything. Ejecting just electrons isn't possible, because the entire contraption would get a positive charge, and no more electrons could be ejected.
    Ion thrusters need to eject electrons as well as positive ions.

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook