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Physics/plasma UV


QUESTION: hello, please tell me regarding the plasma chemistry in ionizers. i just remembered that the reason that ozone gets made in the ionizers is not due to added electrons but in fact due to the UVC light that splits the oxygen; one of the two atomic oxygen atoms than joins another oxygen molecule to form ozone. so this would mean that since in a corona which is emitting lots of strong UVC light there would be the creation of ozone, BUT if, as i suggested earlier there was a helium buffer that would prevent any significant UVC reaching the oxygen, then the ozone would not form; as just adding electron to oxygen does not split the molecule. what do you think?
thank you very much,

ANSWER: Energy is energy.  I'm not a chemist, but basically if you have ionizing radiation or ionizing levels of electric field you can make ozone out of air.  You can skip the C, that's just someone attempting to subcategorize ultraviolet based on energy.  There's no hard and fast rule in science defining the bands of energy that are photons, from radio through gamma, it's arbitrary and based on rough guidelines on what the energy of the light can do and what wavelength it has.  You're talking about just making helium.  If you have UV, which can travel though helium to the air you're talking about, then it reaches the air and makes ozone.  I'm not sure what you're trying to accomplish, create an ionizer without making ozone?  What's the point?  The point of an ionizer is to create those changes that lead to ozone.  You're trying to interfere with helium, but it doesn't seem to have a point to it.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: thank you, i asked some chemistry experts and they said this is out of their expertises.
yes, as you put it; i am trying to "create an ionizer without making ozone". for an experiment. so it has no economic substance as a consideration i.e. it can be impractical and expensive. but as far as i can work out there are two things that make ozone out of dioxygen; high electric fields and high energy photons. these are only found in the corona/plasma, the helium buffer would take the electrons out of both; out of the "diruptive area". what do you think?
thank you,

Alpha/beta radiation would also do this.  As far as not making ozone, however, it just doesn't work.  The molecules keep colliding, if you're trying to make just nitrogen ions or some non-ozone molecules?  They're just as bad as ozone.  Ozone people can deal with in relatively large quantities.  You've hit the chemistry end of the spectrum, I'm no longer qualified to even understand what you're trying to do, let alone how.


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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson


I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.


I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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