Astrophysics (Index)About

plasma

(state of matter where atoms joined into molecules and are ionized)

Plasma is a state of matter in addition to solid, liquid, and gas. Plasma is gas-like but the atoms are generally free of molecular bonds and are ionized. As a whole, a body of plasma is neutral, but it includes positive and negative particles, e.g., positive ions and electrons. The threshold distinguishing plasma from gas (i.e., "how much of the material needs to be ionized?") has no universally-used precise definition, but reflects the general idea is that a gas is considered plasma if it shows the distinct qualities of plasma, which include electrical conductivity and the generation of a magnetic field.

The plasma state is generally maintained by high temperature. Much (perhaps most) of the matter in the universe is in the plasma state. Stars such as the Sun are sufficiently hot as to ionize much of their matter, much of the interstellar medium is ionized and the intergalactic medium through galaxy clusters is generally highly ionized. Though plasma is rare on Earth, the vast majority of the universe's baryonic matter is plasma.

Plasma is used in technology such as neon signs and plasma displays.


(physics)
Further reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_(physics)
https://arxiv.org/abs/1404.0509

Referenced by pages:
active galactic nucleus (AGN)
Alfvén wave
baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO)
Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC)
beta (β)
black-body radiation
bremsstrahlung
Cassini
chemodynamics
CHIPSat
chondrite
Cloudy
coronal mass ejection (CME)
Compton scattering
cooling flow
corona
coronal hole
current sheet
diffuse emission
diffusion damping
Deep Space 1 (DS1)
electron screening
Europa Clipper
electron volt (eV)
Faraday rotation
filament
fluorescence
flux freezing
GADGET-2
galactic halo
galaxy cluster (CL)
galaxy formation
Galileo
gas flow
Giotto
Hall effect
Herbig-Haro object (HH)
International Cometary Explorer (ICE)
intracluster medium (ICM)
intergalactic medium (IGM)
IM­AGE
Io
ion
interplanetary medium (IPM)
jet
jet current
Juno
Langmuir probe (LP)
Lorentz force
magnetic energy spectrum
magnetosonic wave
Mars Express
magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
microwave
Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS)
Ohmic heating
partial ionization zone
phase transition
photosphere
plasma astrophysics
plasma frequency
Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO)
quark-gluon plasma (QGP)
quantum tunneling
radiative transfer (RT)
radio relics
Reynolds number (Re)
Rosetta
Rosseland mean opacity
radiative transfer code (RT code)
equation of radiative transfer (RTE)
Saha equation
scintillometry
shock wave
Solar Orbiter (SolO)
source function (S)
standard model of a flare
stellar atmosphere
stellar model atmosphere
STEREO
Sun surface features
suprathermal
surface of last scattering
surface temperature
Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect (SZ effect)
Thermal Bremsstrahlung
thermal emission
21-cm experiment
transmission spectroscopy
Ulysses
Vlasov-Poisson equation
vortex
Voyager
X-ray source

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