is not water to put a nozzle on it or to divert the flow in another pipe : D
are you sure that an inductor generates voltage while is applied voltage to it?
the electricity doesn't CHOOSE where to pass ... ! It follows precise lows of physics!
These days a Schottky diode can have an even lower voltage of between 0.15 to 0.45V depending on the current and construction. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schottky_diode So these are sometimes used for a quicker quenching of the back EMF.
since the forward voltage drop is lower the current decreases slower
No not right. Think about what happens at each limit, with your thinking if the voltage drop on the reverse diode was zero would the discharge rate be slower? If the voltage drop were 100V would it be faster? See it doesn't make sense.
If you use an air gap instead of the diode a very short spark will be produced -
Yes that is because a plasma is not a linear resistance. Once a plasma is established it's impedance goes from being very high to very very low. In fact almost like a short circuit.
The second trace shows the release time and voltage spike when a diode and 270 ohm resistor are used to get a higher release speed.
If you search hard enough, you will find it mentioned in a few places, and it's been pointed out [ 8 ] that simply using a diode can cause the relay to release too slowly to break 'tack welding' that can occur if the contacts have to make with high inrush currents. This can happen because the armature's physical movement is slowed down, and it doesn't develop enough sudden force to break a weld. It's far more complex than just an additional delay when a diode is placed in parallel with the coil.
The zener diode scheme shown above may be a bit more expensive than a resistor, but it allows the relay to deactivate much faster. The most common arrangement will be to use a zener rated for the same voltage as the relay's coil and supply. In the example, the release time was 2.6ms, and that's significantly faster than obtained using a resistor and diode (4ms). A higher voltage zener will be faster again, with a 24V zener giving a drop-out time of 1.84ms.
YOU are missing basics of basics of electronics.Maybe you know P=VI. If resistance of an electric arc is "like a short circuit" it means V ~ 0 and then P ~ 0. Where do you get the power for welding and cutting? Or more humble task: where do you get the power to keep the air hot and ionized? There is surely a lot of power needed to keep the arc conducting so there must be considerable voltage drop somewhere in the arc. (Maybe electrodes/air junction?)Also you may know for ideal inductor dI/dt=V holds. It means when voltage drop is small change of the current is slow.And how you explain loop of superconductor can keep current "forever"?
Where do you get the power for welding and cutting?
Grumpy Mike you missed one important fact: inductor is NOT capacitor.
I am just a hobbyist so I don't know how to use Spice and don't have access to an oscilloscope so I am unable to do it for you.
to make it crystal clear I will do some quick calculation for you.
From the current you idiot.
Please, make a Spice simulation to prove I am wrong. It must be a few seconds work for someone as skilled and experienced as you are.