'Ion Thruster' and 'Ion Engine' should be merged. They are discussing precisely the same material. The distinctions between the two titles are only jargon. In engineering an engine is usually a device that employs a thermodynamic cycle to convert energy from one form to another (e.g. internal combustion engines employ either the Otto Cycle or the Diesel Cycle to convert chemical energy to mechanical energy). Most rocket thrusters (including ion devices) employ very simple open ended thermodynamic conversions with exhaust to the free environment. But this difference is subtle and frankly either title would be fine and both are used in the rocket propulsion community.
- The Ion thruster article is much better-developed. I've redirected this page there, as all material in this article is already covered at Ion thruster. The Ion engine article already redirects; this article fails to follow naming conventions in addition to duplicating information.--Christopher Thomas 20:00, 17 November 2005 (UTC)