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Author Topic: Are there any cases where the atoms do the moving in gas to conduct electricity?  (Read 3734 times)

Paul Anderson

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Paul Anderson  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Electrons go down a wire. Electrons pass through old radio valves. Are there any cases where the atoms do the moving in gas?
What do you think?


 

Offline Vern

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Ions which are atoms with missing electrons move in a liquid as in when plating metals and this conducts electricity. Same thing in the liquid of the lead acid battery in your car.
 

lyner

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With an anode of mercury, mercury ions could well migrate to the cathode in an evacuated tube. Vaporising a pool of mercury with a positive potential (an anode) and striking an arc would cause electrons to move one way (much faster)- to the anode and mercury ions to move the other way (much slower) - to the cathode.





 

Offline RD

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Offline Bored chemist

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A fluorescent lamp conducts electricity while it's running. Some of that current is caried by electrons but a some is carried by argon ions and mercury ions.
In the inside of a mass spectrometer the current is carried by ions (generally positive) and it's by measuring this current that you can find out how much of a chemical is present in a sample.
 

lyner

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With an anode of mercury, mercury ions could well migrate to the cathode in an evacuated tube. Vaporising a pool of mercury with a positive potential (an anode) and striking an arc would cause electrons to move one way (much faster)- to the anode and mercury ions to move the other way (much slower) - to the cathode.


Durr! I was just describing a mass spec (minus the magnet) without realising it!! I didn't see the wood for the trees.
 

Offline lightarrow

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I didn't see the wood for the trees.
It's a locution? What does it mean?
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Also written as Can't see the forrest for the trees.
Unable to see something obvious.
http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/5/messages/1529.html
 

Offline Farrah Day

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If you are talking about atoms as an electric current, the answer to the original question has to be no. Atoms are neutral.  A current carrier needs to be a charged species such as an electron or an ion (+ve or -ve, elemental or molecular).
« Last Edit: 25/01/2009 14:58:50 by Farrah Day »
 

Offline lightarrow

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Also written as Can't see the forrest for the trees.
Unable to see something obvious.
http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/5/messages/1529.html
Thank you very much, Bored Chemist!
 

Offline Vern

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If you are talking about atoms as an electric current, the answer to the original question has to be no. Atoms are neutral.  A current carrier needs to be a charged species such as an electron or an ion (+ve or -ve, elemental or molecular).
Yes; I should have prefaced my answer with: No but;
 

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