Test to see if ionised gas may be contained by radio frequency current

 

Here a boiling tube containing low pressure gas is placed in a small solenoid of about five turns of heavy duty copper wire forming the inductor of a circuit tuned to about 28 MHz with a high voltage capacitor of about 100pF.

The tank circuit is excited with radio frequency current at its resonant frequency of around 28 MHz and the power increased until the gas ionised and glows with its spectral lines.  The power is increased until the glow of ionisation contracts to a thin line near the centre line of the inductor.

I allege that this (probably known) effect is caused by the repulsion of the induced radio frequency current in the ionised gas being repelled by the exciting radio frequency current in the coil.

I allege that, on the basis if my calculations and simple experiments carried out with a magnetic compass in a solenoid carrying direct current, that the repulsive force is higher near the windings than at the centre and therefore ionised gas tends to be contained near the centre line.

I have carried out this test in an informal way with observation confirming the prediction, but it needs to be repeated under properly refereed conditions.

I would like also to find out if the remaining unionised gas around the glowing region was any lower in pressure.  This would indicate a general movement of gas into the centre.

For a method of containing a gas for thermonuclear reactions the power level of the radio frequency excitation would need to be very high.

To ensure no loss at the ends the proposed toroidal reactor design is suggested.