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Is it possible to accelerate the air electrically?

There are other techniques such as, for example, compressors where the air can reach supersonic speeds. But is it possible to accelerate air to supersonic speeds using electric fields?

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The simplest answer is to pump enough energy through the air to ionize the air molecules -- in other words, make an electric spark. This is what makes the boom when lightning strikes. Past that, it depends on what you are trying to do. Are you trying to create a steady stream of air from one location to another, a unidirectional jet, or something else; the answer will change depending on what exactly you are trying to do.

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  • $\begingroup$ A unidirectional jet, but at supersonic speeds. I think it took a lot, a lot of energy to get it up to speed, right? $\endgroup$ Jun 2, 2020 at 0:22
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air can be transported, inefficiently and in small quantities, by ionizing it and then accelerating it towards an oppositely charged, porous grid. A small-scale flying model of this was demonstrated 50 years ago, but it ran on a tether through which the electrical power was fed since it produced only a tiny amount of lift.

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