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EM Waves in Salt Water to Create Plasma

Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:42 pm
by Arthur Nystrom
Hi enthusiasts,

I am new to this forum and to Fusion as a whole. Over the past few months, I have been reading everything I can get my hands on regarding how fusion and plasma work. Thus I have barely scratched the surface.

I am working on a concept I have, and I cannot find an answer to a question that the whole idea hinges on. Will plasma form if a tube of appropriate gas is submerged in a saltwater bath conducting high voltage, alternating current?

I read about and designed a saltwater antenna. My thought is that the same principle could be used to create enough EM waves to ionize a gas-filled tube. My fear is that the gas would only be excited outside of the bath and not submerged in it (Faraday Cage?).

While this may not seem like a fusion question, I believe it is relevant. I am hoping that it could be useful in plasma containment.

Thanks in advance

Re: EM Waves in Salt Water to Create Plasma

Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:34 pm
by Richard Hull
The salt water is a conductor and would not allow the tube to light. (following the path of least resistance). It would be a short circuit. Finally, even if it would light, how would it contain a plasma sealed in a tube??

You seem to have thought deeply about this with marginal electrical background. Tesla had a thought and saying about deep thinking.

'The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.'

I am not calling you insane here, but in order to think clearly, a solid knowledge base is a great place to start thinking deeply about any particular subject. Such a base is hard won by study, reading and hands-on experience. For all the right reasons the real world rarely yields to deep thinking. Fusion has had the very finest deep thinkers punching at it for 80 years now with zip being the result. Fusion is abysmally easy to do, but will not be contained or confined at real power levels by any artifice or amount of power applied by the hand of man.

Richard Hull

Re: EM Waves in Salt Water to Create Plasma

Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:56 pm
by Arthur Nystrom

I am counting on the saltwater to be a conductor. That is the only way it will create the field. See example in this article describing a saltwater antenna: ... sea-water/

I might be wrong, but I believe that an example of plasma in a sealed tube is a neon sign.

I think the only way I will answer this for myself is to try it.

I completely understand that smarter people have been trying to utilize fusion for energy unsuccessfully. So, I have no delusions about trying to "make it work." I just think it is really interesting. Thank you for taking the time to respond.

Re: EM Waves in Salt Water to Create Plasma

Posted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:52 am
by Richard Hull
Now you have the spirit! If you think your idea is good, as Bejamin Franklin said......."Let the experiment be done!" Nothing beats the laying upon of the hands. It is the best and ultimate teacher. If it succeeds you are a winner. If it fails you are still a winner provided you seek the real reasons it failed.

Richard Hull

Re: EM Waves in Salt Water to Create Plasma

Posted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:53 am
by Dennis P Brown
Not sure what you are trying to say with the bit about a neon sign being a plasma (when operating - rather obviously true.) Of course saltwater is a conductor due to its ions (chemical dissassociation, not electrically generated so it is NOT a plasma.) This is, again, obvious to anyone with a knowlegde of elementary chemistry.
Both conduction and an electric field within salt water has been understood since Fraday's time so cerainly that is an very old fact (saltwater flowing in a (earth generated) magnetic field) - and the article you link to is just pointing out something that is painfully obvious and not exactly interesting to this forum. If you think there is a relavency, best to discuse it to see if it has any useful purpose or, at least, doesn't follow a faulty logic trail - that is a bit too common in many areas of science when obvious facts are looked at as if they are new insights by someone not knowledgable in that given field - I've see this with PhD physicist with regards to the fact of AGW so, that that tradition isn't confined to laymen and we can all fall into that trap.

Re: EM Waves in Salt Water to Create Plasma

Posted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:07 pm
by John Futter
I believe that you will find that just like a Van Der Graff there is no field on the inside of your salt water next to your tube. As your frequency goes up theskin depth goes down and this is at the surface.
You would need one hell of a pulse to ionise the gas in the tube due to the conductivity of the saltwater and in doing so you will ionise the saltwater anyway --probably breaking your tube full of gas.
When I worked at the university we made a thumper for doing geosiesmic surveys at sea for oil exploration. This consisted of two electrodes a meter apart this was driven by two capacitor banks of 50 uF one at -10kV and the other at + 10kV triggered sparkgaps then fed the energy to the electrodes. This produced a shockwave to excite the geological layers below the seafloor and the resulting echos from the layers fed to a hundred pen chart recorder that was connected to a hydrophone array this on a seperate vessel astern of the vessel with the thumper in tow. A thump every ten seconds and capacitor lifetime measured in tens of hours
The upshot of all of this is that seawater can conduct 1000's of amps over a meter i do not see how you can develop enough potential to excite your plasma tube