Fun with plasma vortex force fields

YouTuber Proto G shot these cool experiments with plasma vortex force fields. Scientists are looking into large-scale practical applications of the force field generated in this manner:

This video demonstrates how a magnetic field affects the charged particles in a plasma arc. Plasma actually does make a functional force field. A University of Washington group in Seattle has been experimenting with using a bubble of charged plasma, contained by a fine mesh of superconducting wire, to surround a spacecraft. This would protect the spacecraft from interstellar radiation and some particles without needing physical shielding.

Here's some more science behind the device:

Plasma Vortex Force Field (YouTube / Proto G)

Notable Replies

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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.

Continue the discussion bbs.boingboing.net

14 more replies

Participants