Theory, experiments and calculations related the physics of plasmas, i.e., matter constituted by ionized atoms.

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What materials are used in non thermal plasma?

While reading about non-thermal plasmas, I came across their ionization potentials(~1%), and other capabilities, such as their non Maxwellian energy distributions. At what temperatures, and pressures ...
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715 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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70 views

Formula for Electrical Arc Length

I was playing with some High-Voltage the other day, when a question popped into my head. Can you calculate length of an electrical arc? It probably would be proportional to :- 1. Voltage of the source ...
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48 views

Aftermath of Plasma Arc

You have a chamber with constant amount of gas (say either helium or argon). You create the plasma with an arc and turn it off. How much of the gas used to create the plasma returns back to helium or ...
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45 views

Absorption of waves in a plasma

Suppose a plasma has characteristic frequency $\omega_p$. Since $$n = \sqrt{\left(1-\frac{\omega_p^2}{\omega^2}\right)} $$ For $\omega<\omega_p$, the refractive index will be imaginary - which ...
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18 views

What happens when a slow wave reaches lower hybrid resonance?

Lower hybrid resonance occurs when $n_{\perp}^2$ goes to infinity, and it occurs only for the slow wave solution, not the fast wave. Since $n_{\perp}$ is proportional to $k_{\perp}$, and $k = \frac{2 ...
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Physical reason for magnetic mirroring?

I understand the mathematical derivation of magnetic mirroring, which usually starts from the conservation of the magnetic dipole moment (e.g. in a plasma). But physically: a mirrored particle is ...
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78 views

Why does the majority of smoke leave when flames appear?

When I burn wood, paper, or other plant matter, where there is a flame, there generally isn't too much smoke, but it I blow the fire out, smoke starts billowing up. It billows thicker and thicker as ...
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187 views

Would it be possible to have an electron-less solid?

We can create plasmas quite easily, indeed you can buy a plasma cutter and generate it all day long for less than $500. Would it be possible to trap a plasma, say magnetically, and cool it so much ...
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151 views

What are the conditions around Sgr A* for a space ship trying to plunge into the central black hole?

The possible problems for a space ship near an active galactic nucleus are the following: tidal forces, hot plasma accreting into the black hole and "jetting" out, radiation, and magnetic fields. If I ...
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Is the plasma state always visible?

All the examples of plasma I have come across are visible. Is there any plasma which is not visible? For example, during a dark lightening we don't see the radiation because its gamma radiation. Is ...
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Why do we deal only with large scale magnetic fields in astrophysics, and not electric fields?

In astrophysics there is a lot going on about strong, large scale magnetic fields: in stars (prominences), magnetic dynamos, compact accretors collimating jets, etc. There's even a special ...
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Are Mach Diamonds radially symmetrical?

Videos like this show a form that suggests a radial symmetry in the gas jet. The same is reinforced by schematic illustrations. But other images, like this, look like there is a twisting structure ...
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287 views

Conserved quantities and total derivatives?

I am having a bit of a crisis in understanding of the physical meanings of total derivatives. When a quantity $\rho$ (be it a vector or a scalar) is said to be conserved, then (mathematically) ...
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4answers
444 views

Is it true that gravitational lensing only occurs for objects made of plasma?

The question concerns this video: It says that the Gravitational Lens effect is an illusion, meaning it's not caused by gravity but by change in density of a plasma atmosphere. It claims further ...
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3answers
413 views

Is a plasma a distinct phase of matter?

Long ago I learned that a plasma was a distinct state of matter after solid, liquid and gas, and also that it was achieved by imparting heat to a the matter. But most references describe a plasma as ...
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1answer
41 views

How a plasma reacts with an AC electromagnet

Any metal conductor such as aluminium or copper is a conductor because of the free electrons in such metals. Plasma also has free electrons so I would like to know if you can repel plasma the same ...
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1answer
69 views

Plasma Question: Expression for electron temperature in terms of the voltage of each prong of a triple Langmuir probe?

So I am trying to derive an expression for electron temperature based on the voltages on a triple Langmuir probe. I have pretty much been following the triple Langmuir probe derivation on wikipedia ...
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2answers
59 views

How do I modify a 3-D simulation grid to be 2-D?

I am creating a particle in cell simulation that models an electron plasma in a cylindrical container. Part of this process is assigning charge density to grid points based on the position of each ...
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4answers
6k views

Transverse Magnetic (TM) and Transverse Electric (TE) modes

I'm reading and working my way through "Plasmonics Fundamentals" by Stefan Maier and I've come across a step in the workings that I'm struggling to understand when working out the electromagnetic ...
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34 views

Poynting Vector between Capacitor - With electrons in between!

Consider a capacitor with voltage $V = V_0 cos(\omega t)$, radius $a$ and separation $d$. Electrons are distributed uniformly with number density $n$. I want to find the poynting vector between the ...
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155 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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1answer
80 views

What's the relationship between glow and arc discharge?

I'm trying to understand the differences between an arc and glow discharge. Most texts I have found on the Internet only describes the observed differences but doesn't really explain what happens on ...
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1answer
25 views

plasma pressure initial condition

The authors in the paper below did a simulation of plasma plume evolution from a laser heated metal target. They used compressible transport equations and ideal gas EOS for Ar. I am having difficulty ...
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363 views

What is electron density and its unit in plasma physics?

I can not find (through Google search engine) that what means electron density and what is its unit? and what is there relation between electron density and electrical conductivity?
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How hot can plasma get?

I remember reading about an experiment where fine rods of tungsten were super-heated with millions of amps of electricity, melting them into ionised gas and were then compressed (by magnetic fields?) ...
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Simulating electrical sublimation of aluminium foil

When i apply high voltage (through a capacitor bank) across an aluminium foil, it gets converted into plasma. I want to simulate this process and study the properties of the plasma produced ...
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72 views

Magnetic hot air balloon [duplicate]

Normally, hot air balloons are limited to 60,000 ft (related question), the limits being the mass of the physical structure containing the air, and the heat source. If one constructed a magnetic ...
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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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2answers
67 views

How do you integrate an expression over a variable in the limit of an integral?

I am trying to follow the steps to solve the integro-differential equation that arises from a plasma sheath problem given in this paper. This is the step I can't follow: ...
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What causes fluorescent light bulb to light up when it is near a plasma globe? Can this phenomenon be used to generate electricity in a circuit?

When a fluorescent light bulb is placed near a plasma globe, despite the fact there isn't a closed circuit, a part of the light blulb would light up. I tried measuring the voltage of the air ...
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941 views

How can a star emit light if it is in Plasma state?

I understand that star is in Plasma state (all nucleus and electrons are not bound to each other and moving around freely) Photon is emitted when an excited electron moves back to lower orbit. So in ...
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184 views

Tokamaks and the reason they are not efficient

I'm curious about why tokamaks are inefficient as generators. In laymans terms, what is the main reason(s) tokamaks still cannot be used as generators? My limited understanding of tokamaks tells me ...
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156 views

Why do noble gases stabilize plasma discharges?

In the plasma literature, noble gases—usually helium or argon—are frequently said to 'stabilize' plasmas. For instance in this patent, the inventor states that the plasma can be stabilized "by adding ...
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477 views

Camp Fire Crackle

I was sitting around the camp fire and there was a periodic sound of cracking and pieces of the burning wood flew off. My question is what is the mechanism for the cracking of the wood? I was thinking ...
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1answer
46 views

Radiofrequency attenuation in cold plasma

The missile plume can be considered a cold plasma. If a radio signal passes across the plume it's attenuated. Obviously the attenuation depends on the frequency of the signal. Where can I find some ...
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113 views

metastable energy levels

can someone give me a good definition of "metastable energy levels" in a helium plasma (glow discharge). Am I right when I say : "by adding some neon in my helium plasma, I will obtain a molecular ...
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264 views

Effect of electric field of plasma sheaths

How will an electric fields affect the formation of plasma sheaths?
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51 views

What happens to the electrons that escape an atom when matter is converted to a plasma state?

Lets say we have a device that generates plasma fields; if this device creates plasma by heating a gas, where do the electrons that escaped the "orbits" of the atom go? Would the electron physically ...
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1answer
45 views

What will happen if we will be able to produce a quark-gluon plasma and the we cool it down?

Lets assume that we can produce a quark-gluon plasma and then we try to cool it down, what will happen to it ?
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1answer
77 views

Does the 1-D poisson's equation have monotonic potentials if $\rho=\rho(\phi(z))$?

I am solving the 1-D poisson equation: $$\frac{d^2 \phi}{dz^2}=-4\pi\rho(\phi)$$ with the additional requirement that $\rho(\phi(z=0))=0$. If I start by multiplying each side by $\frac{d\phi}{d z}$ ...
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Using a Plasma Globe to generate real random numbers

I have been thinking how to easily generate real random numbers when I cam across the small USB-powered Plasma globe. My idea would be to place it in front of an light sensor and read the sensor's ...
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3answers
10k views

What's the difference between gas and plasma?

A friend stated that stars are hot balls of gas, however we know that technically stars are plasma. Is his statement entirely incorrect? Can a plasma be considered a form of gas or should be referred ...
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1answer
56 views

Convective derivative of oscillating fluid with bulk motion?

I have a fluid $u$, which comprises a zeroth order constant motion $u_0$ as well as a first order oscillatory motion $u_1$. The convective derivative is $$\frac{\partial u}{\partial t} ...
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2answers
76 views

Can be the ionosphere described as an elecro-magnetic field?

I read that the ionosphere can be defined as plasma. it has its plasma frequency it has its Debye length it is overall neutral As it is overall neutral it does not produce any electric field. ...
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122 views

Geiger meter affected by plasma lamp

Whilst testing a geiger meter I took it near a plasma globe (the type sold in party/toy stores). The meter showed 0.13 mcSv/h. Then I turned the lamp on and low and behold the meter jumped to 0.89 ...
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115 views

Characteristic waves in a plasma

What does "characteristic wave" mean in the context of plasma waves? For example, when propagating parallel to the plasma magnetic field, the characteristic wave is circularly polarized. Does this ...
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50 views

Minimum number of interacting particles to form a plasma

After reading this question What is the minimum number of electrons necessary to propagate a plasmon? I began to wonder what is the minimum number of particles needed to have a plasma? I figure that ...
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137 views

Why do many books say quasineutrality is needed for a plasma to exist?

Many books on plasma physics (Chen, Goldston, Lieberman) say that quasineutrality must be satisfied for the matter in question to be a plasma. Yet, we know that non-neutral plasmas exist. So why do so ...