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Possibility of an electric flame thrower?

  1. Mar 4, 2005 #1
    possibility of an electric "flame"thrower?

    this idea has kind of been laying quietly in my thoughts for a month or two. if i take something that emits electric bolts, like a tesla coil, would i be able to direct the bolts with a stream of oppositely charged gas (i imagine the stream of air shooting out of an empty super soaker)? i would think it would work because the electricity would follow the gas stream seeking neutrality. the problems are i don't know if a charged gas stream will be attainable (is this strictly plasma?) or how the stream would react with the air it is being shot into. any input would be appreciated. thanks

    ...when you see that blue-white bolt, as in lightning, tesla coil, or jacob's ladder, what is the charge of it? i always kind of thought it was negative because i hear electricity flows through electrons. (or is there really no charge and the light emitted is due to the union of a negative and positive charge?)
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 5, 2005 #2


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    Sure! I was watching the discovery channel, some people studying lightning did that exact same thing, kind of. They had some kind of inert gas, in the path of a high frequency ultraviolet LASER, a UVASER... and studied the lightning they made in the vicinity of the uvaser and gas.
  4. Mar 5, 2005 #3
    hmm...excellent. how would one aquire this charged gas? is there a difference between my proposal and the discovery channel experiment? i would be shooting electricity directly into the gas stream whereas their electricity seemed to be the result of shooting something else into it.
  5. Mar 5, 2005 #4


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    http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20041227/lightning_zoom0.html [Broken]
    http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20041227/lightning.html [Broken]
    This wasn't the show, but it was pretty much the same thing that was on it.

    From iop, these are the same thing, the second being a pdf.

    I'd have to say your proposal was exactly the same. You know what? I hate it when that happens, I think of something, it's a great idea, and it could really work, then I find out a week later, its already been done a few years ago.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
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