I would like to know, on a theoretical basis, if the electron flow entering into the anode of a carbon arc lamp would impart enough kinetic energy to the anode, and thus to the spacecraft, to help propel it through interstellar space.
The electron flow would be move in the same direction of the spacecraft as illustrated by the photo below:
I understand that a single carbon arc lamp, or even a large array of these lamps, would not produce enough force to accelerate a spacecraft up to the velocity needed for interstellar travel, yet I think that these lamps could provide a continuous force over a long period of time that will reduce the need for carrying a large supply of chemical propellant for the spacecraft's primary propulsion system.
As far as what would be the power source for these lamps, I think the most ideal power source would be an onboard nuclear reactor.
Could a carbon arc lamp help to propel a spacecraft through interstellar space?