Science: Magnetic Cooling

Missiles and spaceships may some day carry magnets to keep their noses cool when they plunge into the atmosphere. Dr. Joseph L. Neuringer of Republic Aviation Corp. has already worked out a system of magnetohydrodynamic for hydromagnetic) insulation.

When a re-entry body hits the atmosphere at 13,000 m.p.h.. a shock wave forms a few inches ahead of it. Between the wave and the body is a fast-flowing layer of air heated to something like 12,000° F. At this temperature about 2% of the air's atoms are ionized, i.e., broken into electrons and positively charged ions. The mixture, which physicists call a plasma,...

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