* Posts by Bob Bair

1 post • joined 14 Jun 2007

Space boffins fire up plasma engine

Bob Bair

All very interesting!

As a person that works with equipment that generates plasma with both inert and non-inert gasses... I feel that I must comment on the psuedo science that is being flung about.

One poster, or poser, states:

"A plasma state can be achieved when a substance in its gaseous state is heated to very high temperatures - tens of thousands to millions of degrees"

Interesting that we can regularly create plasmas for days in arc chambers that are made from Molybdenum, which has a melting point of only 2623c, or Tungsten, which has a melting point of 3422c.

The observations are correct on the cooling aspect as vacuum cannot effectively conduct heat away from a source. We create our plasma in a vacuum chamber and must cool the body with supplied water. Although, if they are using a compressed cas for transport, one could conceivably decompress the gas into a heat exchanger and cool a low temp liquid before injecting the gas into the plasma chamber.

Just my $.02 worth...

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