Definition and Introduction
What is plasma physics? Physics of plasma involves studying what state of matter comprises charged particles. Plasmas are part of the states of matter. The common states of matter are solid, liquid and gas. Plasma is the next state after the gas state. It is actually gas that is ionized at extremely high temperatures as this is most important ever to a number of people who are well-known.
Plasmas can be defined as a product of a process called ionization or simply ionized gas. What is ionization in this case? Ionization involves heating a certain gas to a temperature where their electrons become detached from their parent molecule. How is ionization achieved? Ionization can be achieved with the aid of a microwave or a high-power laser light bulb.
Characteristics of plasma
What are some of its characteristics? Plasma is extremely hot gas. It cannot, therefore, be contained physically, unless by use of magnetic confinement. Examples of the methods of confinement that can be used include Z-pinch that is used in ZaP method. Temperatures of space plasmas are greatly high, recorded from several thousand degrees Celsius to several million. Plasma can conduct heat as well as electricity. They are electrically quasi-neutral as they have the approximately the same number of negatively and positively charged particles distribution as far as it is concerned.
This type of plasmas is found only in space, including the interstellar space. An example of astrophysical plasmas is plasmas that compose the stars and plasmas emitted by the sun. The solar wind is a term used to refer to the plasmas emitted by the sun. The solar wind has the ability to cause aurora when it affects satellites in the space near the earth. In other words, astrophysical plasmas are naturally occurring plasmas.
Laser produced plasmas
Contrary to astrophysical plasmas laser-produced plasmas are not naturally occurring plasmas. To create the laser-produced plasmas, one has to use beam lights that are of high intensity. Uses:
• Laser produced beams can be used to produce short bursts of x-rays.
• Laser produced beams are used to create plasma-based accelerators. Plasma-based accelerators are used to accelerate particles.
• Laser produced beams are used in laboratories to recreate astrophysical plasmas.
Applications of plasma
In lighting. Plasmas are used in our every day lighting in electric light bulbs. Plasma is also very useful in the electronics industry. Plasma is used in making microelectronic devices for semiconductors. It is used to produce the very tiny computer chips that are the core of running computers. It also can be used in medicine to produce mechanisms for curing diseases and even cancer. One of the greatest uses of plasma is in space crafts. Plasma enables space crafts to travel long distances in space at high speed.
Another use of the plasma is in making of transmitters that are used for microwaves and high-temperature films. Plasma is also very useful in the mining and extraction processes. It aids in extraction of minerals such as diamonds and valuable metals that are found within rocks.