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Aerospace Nano Flight

  1. Sep 6, 2004 #1
    I have wondered for a long time can we add or remove electrons to air molecules. Create charged fields to force them to move over a surface at high speed. I am thinking only the air in contact with the surface or a % to control the air in contact with the surface. I picture a surface covered by a nano circuite. I have just heard that some one has added then remove a electron from a gold atom so we can add and remove electrons. A charged atom can be controlled with charged fields. Air moving over a surface reduces pressure on that surface. I do know that no air craft as ben made with the barnewly effect but can we make one.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 6, 2004 #2
    Welcome fagan!

    This is what comes to mind at first. A plasma is gas with electrons removed (it is ionized), but even then only a small fraction of the atoms or molecules are ionized. Mixing a plasma with air would quickly neutralize it. Free electron would find it. Very high temperature are usually need to keep a plasma stable. And it would surely have to be isolated from the atmosphere, in which case only small volumes could be manipulated. A wing would not go very far (it's own charges would probably affect its movement more than any Bernoulli effect).
  4. Sep 6, 2004 #3
    Bernoulli thank you

    I am thinking of a circuit where at the moment the air is charged the air is repelled not up but across the surface. Then next over and over again. And thank you for bernoulli and would bernoulli work with just the air that is in contact with the surface.
  5. Sep 6, 2004 #4
    I think the main problem is temperature. Charging the air means taking away some electrons. To do this, a lot of energy is needed. The natural way to do this is by applying a very strong electric field, which takes away electrons, but high temperatures are a side effect. Arcs (artificial lightning, like with an electrical shock) might also be a problem. The Bernoulli effect should work for any thickness of air layer, but it must continuously be regenerated.
  6. Sep 7, 2004 #5


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    Greetings !

    Welcome to PF fagan ! :smile:

    Our physics prof showed us an experiment once where he put
    a candle at some distance from a needle shaped electrode and
    started charging the electrode. The experiment was actually about
    increase of potential & electric field due to area reduction of the
    electrons on the needle - moving to the tip of the needle. Once the
    field was to high at the tip the electrons escaped from the needle
    into the air, as a result of this electron "wind" some air molecules were charged negative and the density of the negative ions in the air was increased (there are always some positive and negative ions in the
    air due to collusions, random EM waves and so on). This created an ion
    "wind" as the negative ions repelled each other and pushed
    on other molecules in the air - away from the electrode, before they
    were neutralized which takes a bit of time, and you could see the flame
    of the candle dance wildly like there was wind in the room.

    So, your idea would work. There are even known ideas of propulsion
    systems like this which ionise air molecules and push them down
    to achieve lift or use a magnetic field like an MHD thruster.
    The problem with this today is that it requires too much power for too
    little lift.

    I'm not sure if you could get more if you use a horizontal "wind"
    on a wing, but it does seem to be different from just pushing against the
    charged ions upwards. Guess it's really worth some exploring ! :wink: :smile:

    Live long and prosper.
  7. Sep 7, 2004 #6
    I am not thinking thrust but creating a pressure drop on a surface the mass of air would be to small for thrust .But hope to make air move so fast over the surface by using charged fields not being macnacal it is my hope to create a large drop in pressure. (dislexic can not spell)
  8. Sep 8, 2004 #7


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    You want to accelerate the negative ions with an electric field ?
  9. Sep 8, 2004 #8
    No I wish to move positive particle across the surface remove a electron to have some control of the positive particle.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2004
  10. Sep 8, 2004 #9
    Removing electrons to make positive ions. Then moving these positive ions across the upper surface of a wing to produce lift.

    The concept sounds nice, but I suspect plasma manipulation and temperature are serious problems.
  11. Sep 9, 2004 #10
    We are trying to move only the air touching are surface .Not even charging all of them. Grab a paretical by charging it push it over are surface by repelling it as the next one comes by do the same. The first one by would not move very fast but the next one will be faster so on and so on till the speed is up to a velocity to reduce the 15 pounds per square inch to as low as we can with out the friction on the surface melting it. Do not think of controlling all the particles on the surface. Control just adequate to force the rest to do what we need.
    How fast does the air have to move drop the pressure?
    What is the max pressure drop?
    I think the math will kill this idea but I still hope
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2004
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