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Farfoos

Is hydrogen magnetically reactive?

I heard of a proposed propulsion system for intersteller travel called a Bussard Ramjet. This was to use thin gasses in the intersteller realm as fusion fuel for the reactor in its engines. Because intersteller hydrogen is so rarified, it was supposed to magnetically draw it into its inlet. When I read this, I wondered how anything non-metal could react to a magnetic field. Afterall, hydrogen's a gas. Then I realized that gas is a state of matter-not a chemistery of matter. Can hydrogen qualify as a metal w/ a superdooperdooperscooper low vaporizing temp? Is iron a gas w/ a superdooperpooperscooper high "freezing" temp? Is hydrogen attractible to a mag-field? What criteria qualifies a metal? I know mercury's a metal that melts at room temp.
Hehe:

Hydrogen is not a metal. If you look on the periodic table, all of the elements are grouped in one area. I believe that hydrogen is classified as a 'nonmetal.' Technicially speaking, it is not magnetic, but it could be attracted by the right electrical field. In other words, it would get sucked in by the machiene the way hair and dust get stuck to stuff - static electricity.
Hydrogen is not a metal in any way, and iron is. You could have iron vapor or solid hydrogen, but that has nothing to do with atomic composition, just temperature.

Johnny:

The hydrogen ion H+ carries a positive electric charge. Since electricity and magnetism are simply aspects of the same force - ie electomagnetism a magnetic field of the correct polarity will attract it.

Johnny:

This Wiki site will give you a good description of the theory of the Ramjet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bussard_ramjet

Farfoos:

I figured drag would be a major problem. That's why my question was about the EM properties of hydrogen. One of the things about a ramjet, or anything that uses ambient propellant that you just can't get around is that it has to be accelerated to a higher speed than it entered at. I'm pretty sure that fusion can only accelerate the plasma to about 8% of c. About 1# is converted into energy for every 150# converted into helium

Gary:

I do not know the specifics or any rela details but there is an experimental type cylatron that was deisgnd to create and enviroment simular to the surface of the SUN by speeding up hydrogen atoms faster than the speed of light and smashing them into one another all inside of a magnetic containment field. For the hydrogen atom to be contained and or repulsed by this type of field means that there must be at least some sort of EM Property that can be repulsed by the field.
In the case of DRAG being a problem, I would not think that in the vaccum of space that would become an issue. The real issue is controlable potential momentum. You will not see drag being a factor once any potential momentum is applied to an object, but once this is applied it is even harder to control due to the mass and weight distribution other laws of physics will come into play.
The craft design that they are developing will allow for not only the collection of these atoms in a forward thrusting momentum but also in the braking curve of the objects unstable mass displacement.
I do not believe even with this design it will allow us to vacate the solar system, but it will offer a more stable craft to use for inner stellar travel within a decent time frame.
There is one other craft design I have high hopes for that is based upon the same principle. But it is much more massive and is designed for deeper outer system travel. But it is still not within the acceptable time limt constraints of what would be scientifically feasible.
A new form of propulsion that can use a renewable energy source that can accelerate a craft to near sub light speeds is what is needed. Only becasue collecting hydrogen enough to get to those speeds will never be sufficient. Hence the need for the means to find a differnt form of energy not yet know to mankind.

Johnny:

Just caught this guys, we are not talikng Star Trek.

Vacuum - no drag, except gravitational.
Don't confuse velocity and acceleration.
The Ram jet is simply a way of using available fuel.
And while I'm on the subject, Cyclotrons do not speed up particles to faster than light, that breaks the law of Special Relativity

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