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Thread: Does a fan produce wind in a vacuum?

  1. #1 Does a fan produce wind in a vacuum? 
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    Hi. I was looking at my fan yesterday and wondered if I placed it in a vacuum would it be able to produce wind.


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  3. #2  
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    No, it wouldn't.


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  4. #3 Re: Does a fan produce wind in a vacuum? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquanaut
    Hi. I was looking at my fan yesterday and wondered if I placed it in a vacuum would it be able to produce wind.
    No. And you may even burn out the brushes on the motor as the fan was engineered to meet wind resistance.
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  5. #4  
    Forum Sophomore oceanwave's Avatar
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    to leo: wow! really? didnt know that one.

    to aqua: try to see it from the basic point of view that wind is essentially moving air particles/combination of molecules that the fan 'pushes' via its blades (which are shaped in that particular way to allow it to perform this task) hence 'moving air'. if a vacuum is void of air particles (or any particles for that matter) then the fan isn't moving anything hence no wind.

    okok, boring lame explanation here...
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  6. #5  
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    I shall rise above your sarcasm and walk away with my dignity intact; although I feel I must point the obvious out to you and say that aqua's question showed a level of understanding of physics through thier choice of question to be high-school level; therefore one would assume that a basic, laymen worded approach to reciprocating would suffice.
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  7. #6  
    Forum Sophomore oceanwave's Avatar
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    erm, honestly? that was absolutely NO sarcasm intended and i really am sorry if i did sound sarcastic cause pls, im a chemist. i really didnt noe that fans do have these brushes and that they they will burn out or what ever u call them in a vacuum. really. my apologies. (look at my posts in the chem section to see sarcasm) :-D
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    No, it wouldn't.
    What if we added a few choice particles from a bag of wind cunningly stored in our pockets, in front of the fan?
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  9. #8  
    Forum Sophomore oceanwave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    No, it wouldn't.
    What if we added a few choice particles from a bag of wind cunningly stored in our pockets, in front of the fan?
    i dont really get ur point here.....

    and to leo (elaboration on previous post): i prefer fully detailed answers as i deem them more helpful and insightful. again, sorry for any misunderstandings on my part.
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  10. #9  
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    I was just joking. Adding particles from the air into a vaccuum with the fan running. Would it make wind?
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  11. #10  
    Forum Sophomore oceanwave's Avatar
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    oh my god....humour in these forums (which are normally filled with ppl squabbling). hmm...but isnt wind a continuous stream of moving air particles? oh pls, answer ur own joke, its killing me LOL!!
    What do you do when the last day of your life is approaching...........?
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  12. #11  
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    Thanks for the responses guys. I thought that the fan wouldn't be able to produce wind in a vacuum because it wouldn't have any particles for the fan blades to move. What gave me doubts was when I thought about a piece of paper dangling by a string in front of the fan, the paper would be motionless even though the fan is spinning right in front of it. I thought that concept seemed strange but since the fan makes no wind then that is what would happen.
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  13. #12 Re: Does a fan produce wind in a vacuum? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquanaut
    Hi. I was looking at my fan yesterday and wondered if I placed it in a vacuum would it be able to produce wind.
    A wind is moving air molecules. If there are no air molecules there is no wind.

    With respect to the issue of burning out the brushes on your fan motor, that is not likely. Brushes are used with DC motors (in the commutator) and most fan motors are AC induction motors (no brushes). But you might run into cooling problems. While the heat generated in the motor will be less in a vacuum, with essentially no load on the motor and hence higher back emf, there is also no cooling mechanism except for conduction through the structure and radiation. Lacking air cooling the motor may well overheat.
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