A fruity plasma plus: Breathing just got exciting


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Episode  075

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On this Episode…

Grapes plasma

For years people have put grapes in a microwave to watch them explode and during the process watch them create plasma.

What it means is that if you cut a grape in two, but leave the two halves connected by a skin bridge, the grape in the microwave will spark and produce a plasma that can sometimes be seen as a glowing cloud, floating up above the grape halves.

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Air breathing engine

In our second topic the rocket motor of the future “breathes” air like a jet engine and this theoretical engine could drastically reduce the cost of getting to space.

Aaron Davis and Scott Stegman expect to achieve over 600 seconds of specific impulse during the tests, which is a measure of how efficiently a rocket engine uses its propellant. This would be a monumental achievement given that the world-record specific impulse—held by NASA—is 542 seconds, and most operating orbital rockets have specific impulses around 300 seconds.


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