• Question: What is a plasma?

    Asked by flow14 to Jack on 20 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Jack Snape

      Jack Snape answered on 20 Mar 2012:

      Plasma is the 4th state of matter… after Solid, Liquid and Gas. The atoms in a gas are made up of electrons and a nucleus, when you heat a gas up, the electrons which have a negative charge get ripped away from the nucleus, which has a positive charge. So a plasma is a big mix of positive and negative charges. That means we can trap a plasma with a magnetic field.

      Examples of man-made plasmas are: Plasma TVs, tube lighting, fusion machines, plasma globes

      Examples of natural plasmas are: stars, the northern lights, lightning

      Hope that answers your question 🙂