Posted by Bert Hickman on 3/22/2008, 8:02 pm, in reply to "perpendicular?"
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: Hello, i read that you use lead stencils to charge select regions of the
: acrlyic, and also saw images of parallel plane discharge. I was thinking,
: is it possible to charge planes to intersect perpendicularly with one
: another so you discharge, two "trees" are formed at right
: angles? Also, wouldnt the edges of the trees kind of swirl towards each
: other following the merging electric field lines?
: Would this be possibly? Or is there already something like this and i just
: missed it?
: Thanks in advance, Steve.
In theory, your idea would work, However, in practice, the accelerator we use is limited to a maximum of 5 MeV. At this beam energy, the charge plane will be located only about 1/2" below the surface of the acrylic that's being irradiated. This is simply too shallow to form a recognizable cross-like structure within a 1" square specimen. If we were to use a significantly more powerful accelerator that drove electrons to a depth of 1" or more, we might be able to form a cross-like pair of charge planes. Higher energy pulsed accelerators do exist but renting beam time on these is either considerably more expensive and others are not available for general research.
There's another difficulty as well. Once irradiated, the imbedded charge plane slowly diffuses with time. The charged cross will develop an expanding cylindrical discharge region centered about the axis where the planes cross. At 5 MeV, about the best we can do is to irradiate various external surfaces to create internal shapes within thicker pieces, such as spheres in spheres, cubes in cubes, or multiple parallel planes.