|MadSci Network: Physics|
Microwaves interact with ions in a plasma or flame. Something to research here would be the way particle accelerators work. After a plasma is produced, the microwaves accelerate the electrons or positive ions, depending on the nature of the electromagnetic field that is imposed. If you want to accelerate the electrons and make a MASER, you pick the direction of the microwave field that would accelerate the electrons best. If you build up a microwave field in a plasma, you will energize many or few of the electrons. The plamsa will become hotter, as the already free electrons will propagate higher energy levels. Some may escape the local environment, but the charged ions will thereafter interact with neutrally matter and gain back their electrons when the opportunity presents itself. You asked if the plasma would lose its ion charge? That is unlikely since adding energy to an energy absorptive media tends to create matter of higher energy state. To netralize a plasma, the plasma ion must either lose a protron or gain an electron. To gain an electron, the "free electron" is returned to the ion by turning off the microwave energy. Microwave energy does not have the quantum energy to affect the nucleus of a protron. To do that, you need high energy x-rays. Microwave energy has less quantum energy than normal visible light. If you have a specific question of wish to explore this topic further, you can e-mail me at email@example.com
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