MadSci Network: Physics

Re: Questions about plasma engine

Date: Fri Sep 21 11:54:16 2001
Posted By: Richard Bersin, Other (pls. specify below), Senior Technical Staff Member, Emergent Technologies
Area of science: Physics
ID: 997799305.Ph

Dear Wayne,

The best way to make an ionized gas plasma depends very much on the gas 
conditions, particularly the gas pressure.  So first we must know what you 
want to do with this engine.  If for propulsion in outer space, that is 
one thing;   however if your are thinking of propulsion in any practical 
sense here on the earth, for example to move a car, you can forget it 
because the atmosopheric pressure here is so high that it would not be 
practical.  Making a plasma at atmospheric pressure requires very high 
concentations of power,  and the gases become very hot-2,000 degrees C or 
higher, which means huge cooling facilities, etc.  So first you need to 
say what you want to do with the engine.

Secondly, I have never heard of a VASIMR so I do not know what your are 
referring to.   If that your application then please explain to me what it 
is!  Can you give me a reference to look it up?

Regarding a figure 8 loopback plasma that is a new term to me also so 
unless you can give me a reference for it to look up and study I cannot 
answer that question at all.

Sorry but this is the best I can do with your questions.

R. Bersin.......

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