SIMPLE ION MOTOR
Please be careful: All of the dangers mentioned in the parent pages are valid for this apparatus too. So be aware of high voltage. Please read additional notes concerning your safety given in the text below.
You may have heard that NASA prepared some projects of spacecrafts involving on ion propulsion. As my 555 driven flyback supplied enough voltage at a safe constant frequency (compared to the single transistor driver circuit), I decided to construct a simple ion motor to realize the theory that ions have mass (or at least acts as having mass) to show inertial effects.
I used cardboard for both reasons it is a good insulator and light. Of course it may be plastic instead. Metal cap is taken from an old AA battery's positive pole to hold disk balanced on the point of the needle. Anything would do the same could be used. Two copper wires placed to form the four ion jets by bending their tips at right angles. They got the voltage from the metal cap touches them. Adhesive tape is used to fit all parts together easily.
Since the voltage could not be sufficient for this experiment, I used a voltage multiplier to triple the output of the flyback. It also did the rectifying as well so there's no need of additional diodes. In this photo, you may see disk completed and ready to run.
It's needles to say that the capacitors used in this circuit stores significant amount of energy that is capable of killing somebody. So all of the warnings stated in the SSSTC and 555SSTC pages are valid for this experiment. I do not take any responsibility either. The risk of electric shock may be reduced by using hundreds of megaOhms resistors connected to the output of the multiplier but I don't have any.
When 555SSTC runs, disk starts to make a spraying noise from the tips of the wires, and starts to rotate very quickly. You may watch the video, which is the best I could record with my poor performance hardware.
Simple Rotating Ion Motor
Cinepak Codec, 176K, 3.8 Secs.
Personally, I did not expect such a propulsion ability and got amazed when it rotated really fast. Rotation speed is not determinable on this movie just because the frame rate is so bad. This is only one of the experiments could conducted by ion sprays.
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