Theory, lab and space experiments, and calculations related the physics of [plasmas](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_(physics)), i.e., matter constituted by [ionized atoms](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ion).

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A question about the Fermi acceleration

In high school physics, we know that a charged particle cannot gain energy from a magnetic field. But, it seems that in the so-called Fermi acceleration, the particle is accelerated by the magnetic ...
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GEN3's 10nm-30nm Contiuum Radiation Measurements

What is the most likely explanation for the 10nm-30nm continuum radiation reported in "Validation of the Observation of Soft X-ray Continuum Radiation from Low-Energy Pinch Discharges in the Presence ...
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69 views

Potential energy of a spherically symmetric charge density in a spherically symmetric electrostatic potential

I'm interested in calculating the potential energy of a spherically symmetric charge density in a spherically symmetric electrostatic potential. More specific, I'm currently trying to calculate the ...
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1answer
31 views

Does nuclear fusion of light nuclei occur in fire or boiling water?

At the temperature range of ordinary fire or maybe even ordinary boiling water, is the Coulomb potential between light atomic nuclei occasionally overcome to give way to fusion? Basically, how are ...
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65 views

Units in Plasma Physics

What are the units people use in plasma physics? I am having hard time converting an equation from an old paper to SI units. I saw temperature being defined in $eV$. I assume this is $eV/k_B$ with ...
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1answer
144 views

polarization of a transverse wave travelling in ionosphere with polarization direction perpendicular to earths magnetic field

Assume a transverse electromagnetic wave entering ionosphere such that its Electric field of wave is perpendicular to earths magnetic field. Now, i read that as it will enter plasma, the wave will ...
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112 views

Fermi velocity $v_F$ and speed of light

Can Fermi velocity $v_F$ be equal to speed of light, $c$, for ultra-relativistic electron plasma waves, in plasma physics, by using Fermi-Dirac distribution function?
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8 views

Plasma Seperation Technique

Is it possible to break a gas sample in ions and separate those ions and store in two different tubes? If there is an experiment and formula related to it then please mention that too.
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23 views

Is the permeability of plasma equal to the permeability of free space?

I learned that in Maxwell equations for plasma, the permeability is equal to the permeability of free space so that means the relative permeability is equal to the unit tensor. Also we have always ...
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1answer
42 views

What causes polarization current density in plasma?

Plasma current density is defined as $\textbf{j}=-\mathrm{e}n_e\textbf{u}_e$ where $\mathrm{e}$ is electron charge, $n_e$ is electron concentration and $\textbf{u}_e$ is electron velocity. What ...
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18 views

Polarization current introduced by induced charge?

Should we count the current density that introduced by the movement of induced charge as free current or magnetized current or neither? And why?
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1answer
197 views

Integrating Factor Solution for Plasma Wave Equation

As part of a derivation in Bernstein '58 [1] a linear first-order (eqn. (9) in the image) appears: But the general solution I would usually take (as appears in Gradshteyn and Ryzhik and checked in ...
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17 views

Ion Source Design

I want to design a DC arc discharge ion source but I can't find a good book that explains how to do it. Can anyone please recommend me a book or paper that explains this? thanks
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38 views

Schwinger metals?

Consider an electromagnetic field that does reach values above the Schwinger limit inside a region of space $R$, on each oscillation. Once the field exceeds the Schwinger intensity, the field causes ...
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1answer
142 views

Difference between fusion plasma and fluorescent lamp plasmas

How is the plasma in a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) different from a plasma in say ITER or the sun? Why does ITER need 100MK and a CFL can work at practically room temperature (apart from the ...
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857 views

Child-Langmuir space charge law for non-zero cathode potential (non-zero initial electron velocity)

I'm trying to reconcile some conflicting results that I've found in publications that address the idea of the current in a vacuum diode in the case where the cathode has a non-zero potential, in other ...
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7answers
8k views

Can plasma turn back into gas, solid, or liquid?

I wanted to know if, since basic chemistry teaches you that states of matter can be changed, I was wondering particularly about plasma. I know that virtually all of the Sun is plasma, so I was ...
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15 views

Physics 3 recommended book with solutions [duplicate]

I'm new to this forum and wanted to ask for a recommendation for a book which has these subjects with problems and solutions:(if this is not a valid question please tell me) -Intro to Waves -Fourier ...
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1answer
245 views

Does matter found at densities of white dwarfs “feel” more like a solid, liquid or gas?

I'm wondering what it would be like to touch or interact with very dense degenerate matter like this found at white dwarfs. I understand that white dwarfs are initially very hot, but for the sake of ...
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40 views

Is green superheated plasma possible?

I've noticed that video games like Fallout 4 depict the plasma fired from plasma weapons as green. Is there a way hot plasma can look green in real life? I know some gases emit green light when ...
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27 views

Recombination rate/time calculation for plasma vs. solid state semiconductors

I've been able to find how to calculate the recombination rate for semiconductors as a function of the type of semiconductor (like silicon), the doping material, the concentration of the excess ...
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1answer
45 views

What phenomena occur in a low voltage arc between copper and graphite electrodes, and why is the result dependent on electrode polarity?

I was playing around with a laboratory power supply, drawing arcs between electrodes of various materials. I noticed phenomena that I found interesting, and couldn't really explain myself: The ...
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1answer
54 views

Do plasmas have their own magnetic fields?

Do Plasma generate a magnetic field of their own ? Can they cause electromagnetic induction?? For example if a hydrogen plasma is ionized and its electrons removed.. And the protons accelerated ...
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75 views

What makes Jacob's ladder spark to go upwards?

In a Jacob's ladder (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaC4BnbH1NY&index=3&list=PL_SAbPKia2YMFi-t8z5WFYCd86Plcs1Un) a spark is originated in the bottom and climbs up to the top. I have read in ...
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85 views

Why did they start Wendelstein 7-X With Helium?

Just saw the first Hydrogen plasma at the Wendelstein reactor. I haven't found anywhere that gives a good explanation as to why they first used a Helium plasma - can anyone shed any light?
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59 views

1kg mass impacting at half light speed - effects?

Such a mass would have kinetic energy approximating a 1 mega-tonne thermonuclear weapon. So, what would such an object do if it hit the Earth? We know how destructive such an energy release can be, ...
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48 views

Can a spheromak propagate in vacuum?

I recently learned about (and am now fascinated by) spheromaks. I am no expert on plasma physics, but as I understand they are analogous to propagating toroidal vortices (smoke rings), but with plasma ...
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84 views

What state of matter is thunder? [closed]

I know of solid, liquid and gaseous states of matter but what state of matter is thunder? Is it gas, liquid or solid?
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198 views

Why is a stellarator-type nuclear fusion reactor so oddly-shaped?

My first impression: It's a mess. Why is it shaped like that? I can't find any info about its shape other than it's a special arrangement of magnetic coils. (link) Here's some more images of it on ...
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73 views

Is thermal and electrical conductivity correlated for all phases of matter?

After reading this interesting post about why copper is a great heat conductor, I wondered if a plasma would conduct heat better than a gas. Or, are some properties like density more important for ...
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Estimating temperature with Boltzmann relation with split emission lines

I'm trying to estimate the temperature of a plasma through the use of hydrogen lines, $H_{\alpha}$ and $H_{\beta}$ using the Boltzmann relation: $$ \frac{ n_{2} }{ n_{1} } = \frac{ g_{2} }{ g_{1} ...
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1answer
59 views

Differences between thermal and non-thermal plasmas

I have a doubt about plasmas which may as well be trivial or very stupid, but I couldn't get a clear and straightforward answer anywhere I looked, and I can't get the grasp of it since I wasn't given ...
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4answers
8k views

Does Fire Conduct Electricity? Why?

Recently, I have stumbled upon a YouTube video by Veritasium describing the conductivity of fire. My question is: how exactly does fire conduct electricity? I am a high school student; therefore ...
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1answer
48 views

Difference between reflection mechanisms in dielectric, metals and plasma

How the reflection and transmissions mechanism are different in metals, dielectric and plasma? I know that the density of free electrons is playing the role. Can anyone give an insight what is ...
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50 views

Apparatus for generating plasma

I'm working on a project which involves superheating nitrogen to a state of plasma. I was considering using my Fusor, but this project has nothing to do with plasma, and I believe that there are way ...
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30 views

Plasma Ball and effect of Humans

If one brings a fluorescent bulb close to a plasma ball, why does the touch of a finger cause the bulb to become brighter when touched? Why, when you hold the metal portion of the bulb, as opposed ...
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411 views

Particle-in-cell (PIC) code Virtual Laser Plasma Lab (VLPL)

I am writing a simulation code to model betatron X rays produced by electrons accelerated using laser wakefield acceleration (LWFA). I have heard about 3D PIC (Particle-in-Cell) code VLPL (Virtual ...
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61 views

Response function in plasma

I am reading an article where authors investigate how a particular type of electrostatic waves propagates in a plasma. They start with the Poisson's equation in the next form: $$\nabla^2 ...
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537 views

Dielectric tensor vs. conductivity tensor in (cold) plasmas

I'm studying Waves in Cold plasmas right now, but I guess my question is generalizable. It's about the 4th Maxwell Equation in polarizable / conductive media: $\nabla \times H = \frac{1}{c} ...
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851 views

Is a plasma necessarily made of monoatomic ions?

Is it possible to have a plasma made of polyatomic ions instead of monoatomic ions? I want to know all the details why such a thing may be attainable or not and, if possible, what methods we can use ...
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165 views

Is magnetic reconnection reconcilable with magnetic field lines neither starting nor ending?

According to Maxwell's equations, magnetic fields are divergence-free: $\nabla \cdot \mathbf{B} = 0$. If I understand this correctly, this means that magnetic field lines do not start or end. How can ...
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96 views

Would a mass of bare iron nuclei be visible ?

As I understand it most of how objects look is because of how photons interact with electrons and photons emitted when excited electrons fall to lower energy levels producing photons. So if one traps ...
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78 views

Liquid/solid to plasma?

During a phase change we can go from solid to gas via the process of sublimation. The diagram given below indicates that there is no analogous process for the transition from solid (or liquid) to ...
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138 views

Fusion reactors why does size matter?

I've been following articles about fusion recently, and with the ITER project mostly. I have noticed that their view point is they need to build a large scale reactor in order to achieve their goals. ...
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33 views

Why is the enclosed area of a voltage-charge Lissajous figure to the dissipated energy per cycle?

These Lissajous figures turn up in the study of Dielectric Barrier Discharges driven by AC voltages, but I believe the concept of the "dissipated energy=area enclosed curve" is much more general. By ...
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432 views

Liouville's Theorem and Boltzmann equation for plasma

The Boltzmann equation for a plasma can be thought of as coming from a continuity equation in the 6 dimensional phase space of the plasma with coordinates $\left\{x,y,z,v_x,v_y,v_z \right\}$. So ...
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2answers
51 views

What is crater's influence on laser ablation?

In many laser ablation experiments (especially Pulsed Laser Deposition), target is moving to avoid crater formation. But I can't find any source that says why it is needed to avoid it. So why is ...
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1answer
67 views

What is meant by infinite wavelength?

1#When an electromagnetic wave propagates in a plasma, with increase in plasma density the phase velocity ($v=\frac{\omega}{k}$) of wave increases. So at cut-off point $k=0$, and phase velocity ...
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The basic physics behind the plasma frequency

The dispersion relation of ordinary wave in plasma is \begin{equation} \omega^2=\omega_{p}^{2}+c^{2}k^{2}, \end{equation} where $\omega_{p}=\sqrt{{4\pi n_{0}e^{2}}/{m}}$ is the plasma frequency. ...
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Plasma wakefield acceleration for Protons

Laser plasma acceleration is a promising technology that could replace the current method of accelerating particles (which is via electric fields). It is somewhat cheaper also as it makes the ...