Fusion Message Board

In this space, visitors are invited to post any comments, questions, or skeptical observations about Philo T. Farnsworth's contributions to the field of Nuclear Fusion research.

Subject: Vacuum Alternatives
Date: May 10, 4:43 pm
Poster: Patrick Bishop

On May 10, 4:43 pm, Patrick Bishop wrote:

Might there not be alternatives to high-cost vacuum pumps as means to an end? As a shamefaced novice experimenter in these areas, I beg your forebearance and ask you not to laugh *too* loudly if any of the following ideas are a bit absurd.

I've noticed that compressors usually cost considerably less than vacuum pumps. Wouldn't a compressor placed *within* an area to be evacuated, and connected to the outside through the valve which would otherwise feed the compressed air tank work, at least to some extent? It would not be hard to imagine a set-up involving this.

Also, why not use some kind of cryogenic means to condense the air within a vacuum chamber to the liquid state, at which point it would then be pumped out?

Finally, one might be able to heat the air within a vacuum chamber, allowing it to escape as it expands. The air could be heated up to the thermal tolerances of the chamber's construction material. Closing the escape valve and allowing the temperature to drop to ambient would produce a degree of evacuation. Also, anyone with any type of vacuum pump might obtain a higher degree of evacuation if the gas being evacuated was already hot.

I gather from the other posts that many of you have considerable experience working with relatively high vacuum, and I would appreciate any feedback you would take the time to give regarding these notions.