Plasma Physics

Plasma Physics

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Credit: DAVID PARKER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Conceptual fractal illustration of plasma physics. Plasma is one of the four fundamental states of matter, the others being solid, liquid, and gas. A plasma can be created by heating a gas or subjecting it to a strong electromagnetic field applied with a laser or microwave generator. The presence of a significant number of charge carriers makes plasma electrically conductive so that it responds strongly to electromagnetic fields. Like gas, plasma does not have a definite shape or a definite volume unless enclosed in a container. Unlike gas, under the influence of a magnetic field, it may form structures such as filaments, beams and double layers. Plasma is the most abundant form of ordinary matter in the Universe. Much of the understanding of plasmas has come from the pursuit of controlled nuclear fusion and fusion power, for which plasma physics provides the scientific basis.

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Keywords: beam, charge carrier, concept, concepts, conceptual, electrical, electromagnetic field, fractal, fractals, gas, illustration, laser, liquid, matter, microwave, nuclear fusion, plasma, plasma physics, solid, universe

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