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

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Is fire plasma?

Is Fire a Plasma? If not, what is it then? If yes why, don't we teach kids this basic example? UPDATE: I probably meant a regular commonplace fire of the usual temperature. That should simplify ...
7
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4answers
380 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) ...
11
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2answers
4k 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 ...
13
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3answers
342 views

Why were space physicists wrong about the location of the heliopause?

The heliopause is now estimated to be something around 100 AU (1 AU = Astronomical unit = about the earth sun distance). See the wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliosphere From ...
11
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3answers
12k 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
4k views

How to debunk 'The Electric Universe'?

My father is a generally intelligent person, however he has latched onto a theory which I believe to be completely incorrect. He doesn't believe in gravity, but rather subscribes to an 'Electrical ...
2
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2answers
1k views

Possible colors of fire?

I have learnt that depending on the various gases those are involved in the reaction that produces fire, different colors (yellow, red or blue) of flames become visible. I have a question .. what are ...
4
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4answers
9k 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 ...
3
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1answer
689 views

What is non-thermal plasma?

I read about non-thermal plasma, but I still have some questions: The ions and neutral particles are not in thermal equilibrium with the electron, does that mean that the overall temperature is low ...
4
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2answers
396 views

Difference between irreversible and entropy?

Cedric Villani recently wrote an article on Landau damping, where at least one topic discussed confused me. Besides discussing the issue of how a process can be microscopically reversible and ...
2
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3answers
591 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 ...
1
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1answer
57 views

What does a sample of the Sun look like? Does it look like fire or gas?

Suppose that in the future a highly resistant spacecraft went to the Sun and collected three samples of the Sun: one from its surface, one from its core, and one midway. The three samples were put ...
8
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2answers
6k views

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 ...
6
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2answers
808 views

Is there a phase transition between a gas and plasma?

Does a phase transition occur as a gas is heated to create a plasma? If so, is this a first or second order phase transition? Also, does the presence of a phase transition depend on the pressure or ...
3
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2answers
179 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 ...
3
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6answers
7k views

Where on Earth can you find plasma?

Ok, so not that 'where on earth', like literally - 'Where on Earth'. Where on Earth, can you find matter in the 4th state, i.e. the plasma state?
3
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2answers
230 views

Pressures Necessary for Carbon Detonation

Carbon detonation is a characteristic event of Type 1a Supernova (EDIT: where an accreting white dwarf near the Chandrashankar limit of 1.4 solar masses explodes), an extremely important standard ...
2
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2answers
291 views

Is NaCl vapour plasma?

Yesterday I asked a question at Chemistry SE, which is if the molten NaCl molecules have enough energy to break into free moving ions, won't be the Na Cl vapor contain free moving ions? So, I've got ...
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3answers
329 views

Plasma and Plasma Globes

Plasma is the fourth state of matter. Wikipedia says, that all the gaseous atoms will be ionized into positive ions and free electrons at extremely high temperatures. But, what does this explain in a ...
0
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4answers
64 views

Why is quasineutrality required for a gas to turn into a plasma?

Why is quasineutrality a required condition for a plasma to exist? Quasineutrality means that no density of electrons and ions should almost be equal but not exactly equal. Can anybody explain this ...