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Author Topic: Is there any way to artificially remove an electron from an ion or isotope?  (Read 2083 times)

Offline 1011300

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I was just wondering if the question above could be achieved.
I don't mean ionization, where an electron is transitioned to another atom but removing the electron entirely and redirecting it to another, unionised substance.


 

Offline chiralSPO

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Your question is a little ambiguous, but let me propose a few possible solutions, and you can pick the one (or none) that fits the bill.

1) you can annihilate the electron by hitting the target (atom, ion, molecule, etc.) with a positron:
       p+ + target → target+ + gamma rays

2) you can hit the target with a very fast electron or high energy x-ray, shooting the electron off into space:
       target + high energy x-ray → target+ + e (far away) + low energy x-ray

3) you can transfer the electron to another atom, ion, molecule etc. (reduction oxidation chemistry)
          (A stands for "Anything")
       target + A → target+ + A
                       or
       target + A+ → target+ + A
                       or
       target + A++ → target+ + A+
                       or
       target + A → target+ + A

etc.
 

Offline 1011300

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I think the second answer you proposed best 'fits the bill', I'm not entirely sure but I believe it was shown that it could work with Rutherford's Gold Foil experiment.
Am I thinking of the wrong thing again?
 

Offline evan_au

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Solar-powered ion drives (such as are used on a number of modern artificial satellites) temporarily separate electrons from Xenon atoms so it can accelerate the Xenon atoms (providing thrust), but immediately recombines the electrons with the Xenon ions, otherwise the positive Xenon ions would be attracted back to the negative space probe, cancelling the acceleration of the ion drive.

While it is possible to separate an electron from far from the nucleus in small quantities, it takes serious amounts of energy to do this for many electrons. The LHC removes the electron from about 1015 hydrogen atoms for periods of hours, so it can accelerate the protons up near lightspeed.

If you want to separate lots of electrons from lots of atoms, dropping something like Sodium into water will rip the outer electron from the Sodium atoms, and add the electron to an OH group. This does not move the electrons very far - water molecules surround the NA+ ion and the OH- ions, but they stay in close proximity.
 
Note: Don't play with Sodium metal at home - it is very reactive (including reacting with fingers and eyes)!
 

Offline lightarrow

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I was just wondering if the question above could be achieved.
I don't mean ionization, where an electron is transitioned to another atom but removing the electron entirely and redirecting it to another, unionised substance.
What is the difference, in your idea, between "an electron is transitioned to another atom" and "removing the electron entirely and redirecting it to another unionised substance"? Can you give an example?

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lightarrow
 

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