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 ...
18
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4answers
687 views

Why does only one side of a neon lamp glow?

When applying DC to a neon lamp, only one electrode glows: The voltages across the lamps are left: DC (left lead positive), middle: DC (right lead positive), and right: AC. But... why? The ...
12
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2answers
299 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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4answers
407 views

Is solar wind positively charged?

Many times I heared that the solar wind consists of protons and alpha particles. The both are positively charged, but are there electrons in solar wind?
11
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2answers
3k 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 ...
10
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2answers
342 views

How large can you make a tokamak?

I've seen questions on how small you can make a tokamak. But I haven't yet seen any "physical" upper limit on the tokamak design. If you take a wind turbine for example, doubling the linear ...
10
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3answers
8k 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 ...
9
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1answer
349 views

Would an octahedral magnet work as a magnetic bottle?

First, let me see if I understand all this: Charged particles are curved by magnetic fields, so if the magnetic field is strong enough, the particles "follow" the magnetic field lines, in N or S ...
8
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1answer
74 views

Voyager 1 cosmic ray strips

In the last months Voyager 1 has experienced a dramatic drop in the cosmic ray radiation, which was been exceptionally uniform for the last 10 years, except for the past july 28 and august 14 events, ...
7
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1answer
466 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 ...
7
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0answers
228 views

Who invented the term “Coulomb logarithm”?

Who is the author of the term "Coulomb logarithm"? In fact, Coulomb logarithm was computed by Langmuir in his paper of 1928 where the term "plasma" was introduced into physics, but the term "Coulomb ...
6
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1answer
432 views

How to tell theoretically whether an electron behaves as wave or particle

I have seen many questions on SE on the dual nature of electrons behaving in certain circumstances as particles and as waves in some other circumstance. There is one thing I couldn't get a clear ...
6
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2answers
4k 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
303 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 ...
6
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1answer
92 views

Astronomical-wavelength radio (AWR) transmissions between cosmic plasmas?

My son asked me if electromagnetic waves longer than radio exist. I told him that even though physics permits such waves, there are no antennas long enough to radiate or detect them. However, on ...
5
votes
4answers
258 views

what is the basic form of the 'fire'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is fire matter or energy? What is the basic form of fire? physics defines every entity by a basic form either solid or liquid or as a gas, example: water is liquid, ice ...
5
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1answer
250 views

What causes the structure visible in first few milliseconds of a nuclear explosion?

Following on from this question, here is a high-speed photograph of a nuclear explosion, taken about 1 ms after detonation: (source) As anna v pointed out, several similar images can be seen in a ...
5
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2answers
93 views

Jupiter radiation belt: where >MeV particles comes from?

When I read some discussion about exploration of Jupiter moons, or possibility of life there, a common argument is high dose of radiation in Jupiter's radiation belt (several orders of magnitude ...
4
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5answers
695 views

Can Plasma Ignite?

This question on Scifi.se: Why does warp plasma burn green? mentions a fictional type of plasma called 'Warp Plasma' that is capable of igniting and when it does it sprays plasma flames/gas out of ...
4
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2answers
199 views

Why doesn't a neon sign seem that hot?

I heard that neon signs contain plasma, why aren't they hot? is it because the electrons and ions do not hit the lamp's wall? Is it because it is non thermal plasma and electrons and ions are not in ...
4
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1answer
146 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 ...
4
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2answers
576 views

Can low temperature plasma exist?

Plasma is ionized gas which as far as I know only occurs at high temperatures. When plasma cools down it tends to recombine with the electrons present and turn back into gas. But what if the ...
4
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1answer
237 views

What is the mathematics behind artificially generated plasmas via electric fields?

The ionization degree of a plasma is given by the Saha equation, which depends on the temperature and the particle specific ionization energy. In thermal equilibrium, the relation between ionization ...
3
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6answers
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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?
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2answers
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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 ...
3
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4answers
277 views

Could ball lightening be a form of plasma?

With regard to the recent arXiv article: J. D. Shelton, Eddy Current Model of Ball Lightening http://arxiv.org/abs/1102.1224 I wonder if this is a reasonable explanation of ball lightening, or if ...
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3answers
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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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2answers
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Can Gases conduct Electricity?

Liquid electrolytes ionize and hence a current can pass through them. So if a gas can ionize, can it conduct electricity too? If so, what are a few such gases?
3
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394 views

Will ideal gas law apply to plasma?

I have read that plasma is a state of matter that resembles gas but it consists of ions and electrons coexisting. So my question is : If plasma is just ionized gas, will ideal gas law apply for it ?
3
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1answer
99 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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1answer
401 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 ...
3
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2answers
197 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 ...
3
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1answer
238 views

role of pure mathematics in fusion?

Is there any way a pure math guy can get his rigorous math fix while simultaneously moving fusion research forward? Is fusion simply too complicated to take a pure math approach? What open math ...
3
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4answers
808 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 ...
3
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1answer
172 views

Compressing a fluid with arbitrarily large force in an infinitely strong chamber

Imagine I have an infinitely strong container of volume $v_1$, and I fill it with some monoatomic fluid like liquid hydrogen. I then proceed to compress the walls of the container to reduce its ...
3
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1answer
92 views

estimating ion collisions from Vlasov equations

Suppose you have a distribution function $ f_{\alpha}( \vec{r} , \vec{p} , t)$ obtained from Vlasov equations for a certain $\alpha$ species, say some ions. Is there a rigorous way (in the domain of ...
3
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1answer
176 views

What velocity must an aircraft achieve for its shock wave to transform to plasma?

A follow-up to After what speed air friction starts to heat up an object? I understand there may be technological limitations at present ... but, is it theoretically possible for a body to travel ...
3
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0answers
29 views

Richtmyer Meshkov instability in MHD [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Richtmyer Meshkov instability in MHD The Richtmyer Meshkov instability in Hydrodynamics:- 1) When shock wave interacts with the contact discontinuity, it accumulates the ...
2
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2answers
295 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 ...
2
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2answers
197 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 ...
2
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2answers
359 views

What shape is needed to contain a blade made of plasma?

Although this may stray into the subject of fiction, this question requires physics expertise. If one were able to create a strong enough magnetic field to contain a blade of plasma, what shape would ...
2
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2answers
888 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 ...
2
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1answer
154 views

What's the second terminal in corona discharge?

I don't get corona discharge. There's an electrode (say naked high-voltage wire) and a current develops from that wire and ionizes gas (air) on its way. But where does this current go? What's the ...
2
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1answer
42 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 ...
2
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2answers
68 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. ...
2
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1answer
55 views

Does phase lead or lag in a plasma?

Plasmas have an index of refraction less than 1. So say you sent one beam of light through a plasma and another one along a path just as long but in free space. Is the plasma beam's phase lead or lag ...
2
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1answer
131 views

Application of plasma actuators for flow control of moving objects

I've recently been to a converence on plasma physics were, to my surprise, a lot of presentations were concerned with plasma actuator. Could someone, preferably in the field, tell me how long people ...
2
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0answers
227 views

Apart from Alfvenic turbulence, what is the most important unsolved problems in plasma physics? [closed]

Apart from Alfvénic turbulence, what is the most important unsolved problems in plasma physics? Is there a review article describing some important unsolved problems in plasma physics, I repeat, ...
2
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0answers
132 views

simple MHD simulation code for (self) education and play with [closed]

I would like some super simple computational code for solving magnetohydrodynamics problems. High accuracy nor performance is not my concern. I wan't it just to visually explore qualitative behavior ...
2
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0answers
90 views

After quantization of electron vibrations, do we need electrons anyway?

The title question is not ment in a general context, but one in which goes to the plasmon theory. In that case, how is are the statistics (boson vs. fermions) of plasmons determined? And is there an ...