We know that hydrogen is a part of air so if we accelerate hydrogen atoms in a circular vacuum tube as done in a particle accelerator, can the high speed moving atoms of hydrogen drive a turbine if we insert a turbine in the vacuum tube? If hydrogen atoms cannot do this job can some other atom do this? Thanks in advance.

Regards, Bhavesh

(Maybe this question is a silly one, but i am not able to figure it out if this would happen or not)


This won't work, though possibly not for the reason you think.

High energy protons will go straight through a turbine blade without transferring any significant amount of momentum to it. The LHC uses a seven metre long block of graphite to catch the proton beam if there's a beam dump. Steel has greater stopping power than carbon, but even so a turbine blade a few millimetres thick isn't going to provide any serious resistance.

  • $\begingroup$ Sure, at LHC energies! At a few MeV it wouldnt be that bad (10's of microns), but the blade would build up hydrogen and that would be bad for its long term survival. Also, the efficiency of the acceleration part of the problem relative to the turbine part is pretty darn awful... $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Jul 22 '15 at 14:28
  • $\begingroup$ But if the energy of the proton is not that much and the energy is just exact so that proton doesn't go straight through it then it will drive the turbine right? $\endgroup$ – Bhavesh Aug 1 '15 at 7:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Bhavesh: yes. Force is just rate of change of momentum, so if the momentum of the protons is $p$ and $N$ protons per second hit the turbine and stop then the force is simply $Np$. $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Aug 1 '15 at 7:44

Well there is no reason of why it would not . But really what is the purpose of putting a turbine inside a particle accelerator.That beats the purpose of the accelerator to work without much resistance.If it is to generate energy or something, I doubt it's a viable solution.hydrogen as a gas is very hard to compress so I don't think you can make a solar based thermo-mechanical system


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.