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The thrust of an Ion Thruster is directly proportional to the Input power. I've done some experimenting with DIY versions, and I was wondering: Since Power is simply Energy/Time, if I shot incredibly short pulses (microseconds) by means of let's say a Marx Generator through it, would that momentarily produce a high amount of thrust, or are there issues that would prevent that? I imagine it works similar to how a cannonball does more damage as a bullet at the same speed, but if the bullet is faster both can carry the same amount of kinetic energy.

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  • $\begingroup$ "The thrust of an Ion Thruster is directly proportional to the Input power." No it's not. Much of the power just goes in to the mechanism necessary to ionize the gas and run the power supplies. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Mar 21 at 2:51
  • $\begingroup$ Even for the work done by acceleration this is not true at all. Thrust will be proportional to velocity, in fact proportional to the square root of the acceleration voltage times the current whereas the power used for acceleration is proportional to acceleration voltage times the current. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Mar 21 at 3:11
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If you use 100 times the electric power for 1/100 of time periodically, you win nothing. You get 100 times the thrust for 1/100 of time, mean thrust per time does not change.

You can't fool energy conservation, each try is in vain.

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