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Ionized air propulsion

  1. Dec 12, 2012 #1
    I was simply wondering if ionized air propulsion is possible? I dont know much about it but would it be possible to use UV light to positively charge a large amount of air, then another uv light source below a funnel to negatively charge the air creating air flow ( thrust). Can some one please enlighten me? thanks
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2012 #2


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    Gold Member

    conordee, May I suggest that you answer your own question: "if ionized air propulsion is possible?" You've described a design which looks like it would, indeed, generate some (air flow) thrust. If so, then the answer would be "Yes."

    The next question one might ask is "How much thrust could be generated by the above mechanism? You may do the math yourself and discover what you might be able to propel with ionized air. See:


  4. Dec 13, 2012 #3


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    Science Advisor

    Why would UV light charge air positively or negatively?

    The simplest ion propulsion system is the ionocraft.
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