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Published on May 13, 2007
An attempt to reclaim a lost Nikola Tesla idea-sequence!
The air pressure within a tiny metal-walled chamber will slowly fall, ifit's full of glowing plasma. Air turns to solid oxides/nitrides, leaving vacuum behind. It's a historical Ion pump, a "Tesla coil" vacuum pump with no moving parts. Nickky T. reported this phenomenon in 1892, and used the effect to pump down his x-ray tubes in the days before the other vacuum pumps (Sprengel, etc.,) had any hope of reaching the required low pressures for X-rays. Today if you're working with cold-cathode non-Coolidge x-ray tubes, you can cure a gassy tube by running it for hours until the pressure falls low enough. Other stuff at http://amasci.com/weird/wtext.html