Ion Wind

A friend showed me a little video of a light model made from wood. this model was in the shape of a triange with many more triangle inside of that. the wood was wrapped in alu-foil and above the alu-foil was a thin copper wire with a small electric current able to pass through it. A man then passed a current throught the wire and the craft began to lift off the ground, the man then explained a litle about ion wind and how electrons pass from the foil to copper and vice versa can anybody explain in more detail what and how Ion Wind works and whether it could make more heavy objects lift off the floor.

Marc

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Ion Wind Well, first off,

Ion Wind

Well, first off, this falls under the category of Physics, not Chemistry. With Chemistry you some guy in horn rimmed glasses and a lab coat mixing a green fluid with a red one trying to find "Chemical X" or whatever (no offense to chemists because they are nice people, my brother is a chemist). Anyways, concerning the Io Wind. An ion wind is where air molecules ioniz at a high rate. When something becomes ionized, it moves away from the source of electricity, siilar to gas expanding. This is done by building a static charge in the air. With this "lifter" you have a power source (the charged wire) and an ionizing material (the alu-foil). The charge in the wire (being close to the foil) builds up an electrostatic charge within te foil, remotely charging it. As the air molecules pass by the wire, they heat up and ionize, the aluminu foil then attracts them downwards. However, because there is little or no electromagnetic fild in the aluminum foil (for it is charged by stataic, not direct electricity) the alu-foil cannot hold the ions within itself (it cannot hold a high electrical charge from remote ionization) so the ions (taking up space) are pushed away from the alu-foil in the opposite direction of the charge, which in this case is downwards. The influx of these millions of ionized particles actually creates a type of thrust. This thrust is started when the first wave of ionized particles hit the ground, they rebound back upwards, but colied with the next waves of these ions. These collisions creat a dense pocket of charged ions below the lifter and produce a constant upwards thrust. However, air only has a cunductance of 1 coloumb. This means one will need high amounts of voltage to make the lifter move. Tomake a small homemade lifter such as the guy in the video did, will require up to 40,000v or more. This amount of voltage will penetrate the air enough to allow the lifter to fly more than half an inch. Another thing that will help make this device fly is the design of it. It must first be VERY lightweight, one common material is ultralight balsa wood for model airplanes. Even though it sounds immature, balsa wood is the control material used in big time, billion-dollar science labs. The trianglular shape also helps, but the object does not need to be just trianglular. The basic shape has to be one that is evenly surrounded, such as a square, circle, triangle (easiest), hexagon, pentagon, ect. The other geometric shaoes inside the frame help ionize more particles at a faster rate which allows the lifter to thrust in the desired direction faster with a higher altitude and better sustain rate. Constructing it without these inner frames will prove to bee less succsessful, unless it is a small design (small being under a foot in length/width/depth/diameter). These are the plain facts on the physics of ion wind generation with a little explanation of the physics in the consrtuction. Hope this helps!

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