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What comes out of an 'atomic oven' - atoms, ions?

  1. Feb 20, 2012 #1
    Hi, I am trying to make a Magnesium source by curling up a tungsten wire with a block of Mg inside. Then by setting electricity to the tungsten wire, the Mg is heated and you get what out? Magnesium atoms? Magnesium ions?

    Thanks a lot
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 22, 2012 #2


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    When heating up a solid, you generally produce neutral gaseous molecules from the surface. To create a plasma containing long-lived ions, you'd need a fairly strong EM field. By induction, the wire may create a negligible field at the surface of the Mg block, but probably not enough to ionize. Mg(g) is what you'd probably get.
  4. Feb 23, 2012 #3
    Most likely atoms come out.

    In ion trap experiments, the oven producing the material is often a powder that is heated by some electricity, like you describe, and out comes neutral atoms. To trap anything, one would then additionally have to ionize them, which can be done by laser for example.
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