THIS paper presents in simple terms some of the fundamental ideas underlying the study of the relatively new field of magnetohydrodynamics. The basic theory is discussed in terms of the familiar dynamo principle. Several of its applications are described, including instruments such as the induction flowmeter and the electromagnetic pump. The important pinch process is briefly treated.
Finally, a short nonmathematical discussion of investigations made at Republic Aviation Corp. concerning the future potential of the theory is presented. Such items as reduction of aerodynamic heating at the nose of a re-entry missile, the possibilities of a plasma engine for flight into outer space, and the regeneration of electricity from the fluid are considered.