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Physics/testing an air ioniser


would an electroscope be useful in detecting air ionization from a negative ion ionizer? if i put it near the output of the ionizer would some of the negative ions transfer their charge to the rod and leaves. i just am not sure if there is a reason for the ions to do so as the electroscope terminal is not grounded and as soon as a few impart a charge the rest will be repelled away. maybe i could use a metal tube connected to the electroscope terminal and blow the ionized air through the tube using the feraday ice pale effect to build up charge?
thank you,

Not as useful as you might think.  Just having air ions creates a conductive channel to discharge the electroscope, which mush absolutely have a charging path to stay at high voltage.  You can use something like you describe, but the (it's spelled "pail" and not "pale") effect will be very weak indeed.


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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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