Can a Lorentz force be created in a cloud chamber?

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Offline thedoc

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Edwin Waters asked the Naked Scientists:
I have a few questions about the Lorentz force.
1. Is it possible to create a Lorentz force helix in a cloud chamber and if so how would this be achieved?

2. How would the pressure inside the helix be measured in comparison to the pressure surrounding the helix?

3. Is there a limit on how much pressure the helix could produce?
Ultimately what I am asking is, whether it is possible to create mini tornadoes and for those tornadoes to support a payload?

Thank You

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 16/01/2014 05:30:01 by _system »


Offline evan_au

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Re: Can a Lorentz force be created in a cloud chamber?
« Reply #1 on: 16/01/2014 10:01:24 »
Probably the most common application of the Lorentz force helix is in the magnetron of your microwave oven.

Here the power from a DC supply can sustain the current in the magnetron, as microwave energy is always radiated from the accelerating electrons.

Cloud Chambers were often installed in a magnetic field, as this made it possible to distinguish + and - charged particles, as they turn in opposite directions in the magnetic field. Another diagnostic feature of tracks in a cloud chamber is their thickness and length - more massive particles with the same velocity tend to leave a thicker track, and move further before they are finally stopped by the gaseous medium.

However, the gas causes the particles to lose energy much more quickly than the vacuum of the magnetron, so the particles will not continue to orbit without some mechanism to keep "pumping" them with energy - perhaps something like a cyclotron?

I think the energy losses would be so high that you would not sustain a tornado, let alone extract useful energy from it. Tornadoes and vortices are very efficient at turning kinetic energy into low-grade heat energy.

If you want to build lots of tornadoes, copy one of those bagless vacuum-cleaners....but be prepared to provide electricity to drive the motor!


Offline MrVat7

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Re: Can a Lorentz force be created in a cloud chamber?
« Reply #2 on: 22/01/2014 08:22:16 »
Clouds acquire charge and develop high voltage. Inside cloud there's just coulombic forces going on .