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Re: starship-design: plasma sources
The hottest thing I recall seeing was a plasma torch, used to cut heavy stainless
steel plate. It used three kinds of gas, and I'm not positive what they were; I
think one was inert (argon most likely) and another might have been nitrogen (!).
This thing used a large welding machine for a power supply, likely pulling from
300 to 600 amps, and the welding arc created the plasma. Again, I'm uncertain,
but I'd guess at nozzle temps above 7000° F. Ceramic nozzle, water-cooled head
assembly. Call a welding supply shop for details. Oh, and get some good ear
protectors; these things make a hellish racket. Hope this helps you.
"N. Lindberg" wrote:
> I'm no expert on plasma physics, but here are some ways that
> immediately spring to mind:
> 1) Spark gap + RF heating of the air. Plasmas couple very well to
> RF, and most of the energy gets turned into heat.
> 2)High temp combustion + RF. Sometime, bend a toothpick so that
> it stands with one end pointing up, light that end, and put it in your
> microwave. I think they're kind of pretty. Also, the Oxy-Acetylene
> reaction is the hottest type of combustion I know of, at a few thousand
> degrees, Kind of dangerous stuff though.
> 3) In general, the more rarified the air, the lower the
> temperature required for ionization. Maybe run the air though a throat at
> high speeed.
> On Thu, 19 Aug 1999, Fred Reyes wrote:
> > I would greatly appreciate it if anyone can give me a list of ways to
> > convert plain ordinary air into plasma. It does not have to be really high
> > temperature originally, I can take care of that myself. However, the power
> > required to convert air into plasma has to be kept as low as possible. If
> > it is not possible to convert regular air, some alternatives would be nice.
> > Thank you,
> > Fred Reyes
> > ______________________________
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> > AOLIM: Warlord400
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> > http://www.go.to/fredreyes
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