Fun with plasma vortex force fields


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/01/10/fun-with-plasma-vortex-force-f.html


#2

A University of Washington group in Seattle has been experimenting with ...superconducting wire...

Really, have they? That seems unlikely to me, but if it's in a youtube comment I suppose it must be true.


#3

If they've been experimenting with superconducting wire at non-annoying temperatures I share your skepticism; but if you are willing to deal with liquid helium, we've had superconductors since the 1930s; and the much more convenient only-needs-liquid-nitrogen options, while much more recent late 80s-to-present day are also very much available.

Now, whether it counts a s a 'force field' if you need a wire mesh to contain it, that is a quibble I can get behind.


#4

Even the wires are exotic in the lab. Getting a mesh to wrap around your spaceship? I don't think Edmund Scientific has those yet.


#5

That is certainly true. The plasma-screendoor-in-space stuff is purely conjectural at this point; but if you have a modest budget and a dewar or two, futzing around with superconductors in the lab isn't terribly out of the ordinary.


#6

Does this mean I can't have a plasma rifle in the 40-watt range.
:cry:


#7

Disappointed you can't use this to evaporate lab equipment casually tossed into the field.

That would be so handy for getting rid of the deformed bodies of grad students and hobos who foolishly volunteered for your dicier experiments.


#8

It's not silly. The Van Allen belts on the earth do the same sort of thing. If it wasn't for the magic words 'force field' it probably would not be news. The video starts with Mad Science, and flying sparks, but the moment he starts Fleming's Right Hand Rule and stuff, the video goes down like a leaking balloon. Physics 101: ElectroMagnetism made Dull...

I don't think it is the best solution...

If you are in space, a lot of the radiation comes in pretty straight lines from the sun. You can try and deflect it with magnetic fields, but there is a whole spread of energies, so if you deflect one particle, you might actually focus another sort on you. And this won't do anything for things like cosmic rays which don't have a charge.

You can't block the radiation with sheets of lead because that would weigh too much. Also, a big sheld will make a shower of particles out of a cosmic ray, so you again risk making everything worse.

Suppose you tow a relatively light piece of material behind you so it blocks out the sun from your spacecraft. This shield will not absorb the radiation but it should scatter it through a small angle, so it will probably miss you. Provided the radiation is coming from the Sun, if it did not hit your shield, it was not going to hit you. Okay, you still get the cosmic rays, but you are pretty much stuck with those.

[Disclaimer: I am not some wackjob (citation needed) promoting his branch of alternative science. There are many alteriative proposals and this is one of them.]


#9

Scientists are looking into large-scale practical applications of the force field generated in this manner

Bring back Prince.


#10


#11

Physics is so righty-dominated. I know some lefties who would be insulted by this assumed superiority of righties in the "right hand rule," especially since we all know the electrons go the other way.


#12

It need a field to contain it. That field can be outside the coil.


#13

#14

Space Goatse.cx?


#15

Ew. Any mention of Goatse is like losing The Game. Now it's in my head and I can't get it out.

...and you just lost The Game


#16

Superconducting cables are used to carry electricity around on a large scale now (eg), but that's a cable that's about 10cm in diameter, not really a wire.


#17

Only Phased Plasma Rifles available here, buddy,


#18

Typical, Right Male Privilege!


#19

when i first read this i thought you were talking about the whisky. seems like that would make any lab experiment better.


#20

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