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Vibrating a charged block

  1. Dec 5, 2008 #1
    My questions follow this short preface re: attached photos.

    Sometime ago in the mid 1960's, a friend had access to a linear accelerator. In the very late evening, we irradiated several plastic blocks of the dimensions ~10x10x2 cm. Individually, the plastic blocks were in a10 MeV electron beam (intensity forgotten) for about 20 minutes. Afterwards, using a grounded Phillips screwdriver and small hammer, the blocks were struck on the edge such that the accumulated static charge was violently discharged to ground. The tree-shaped discharge path through the plastic is evident in the first photo. The second edge-on photo shows the discharge exit point and that the “tree” is confined to the interior of the plastic block but is three-dimensional.

    I “found” the block in my old roll-top desk and something caused me wonder what would be the consequence of placing the charged plastic block in deep space and mechanically vibrating it.

    - Would the block produce radio waves?
    - Would a suitable antenna receive the waves?
    - If the receiving antenna were vibrated in same manner and synchronized to compensate for propagation delay, would reception cease?

    Thanks for your replies.

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 6, 2008 #2
    My take on this:

    - Yes
    - Yes
    - No
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