Plasma Basics  

Posted by M Riyadh Rizqullah in


Protons and electrons in plasmaPlasmas are a lot like gases, but the atoms are different because they are made up of free electrons and ions of the element. You don't find plasmas too often when you walk around. They aren't things that happen regularly on Earth. If you have ever heard of the Northern Lights or ball lightning, you might know that those are types of plasmas. It takes a very special environment to keep plasmas going. They are different and unique from the other states of matter.


You won't find plasmas just anywhere. However, there may be some in front of you. Think about a fluorescent light bulb. They are not like regular light bulbs. Inside the long tube is a gas. Electricity flows through the tube when the light is turned on. The electricity acts as that special energy and charges up the gas. This charging and exciting of the atoms creates glowing plasma inside the bulb.

Electric current can create a plasmaAnother example of plasma is a neon sign. Just like a fluorescent light, neon signs are glass tubes filled with gas. When the light is turned on, the electricity flows through the tube. The electricity charges the gas, possibly neon, and creates plasma inside of the tube. The plasma glows a special color depending on what kind of gas is inside.

You also see plasma when you look at stars. Stars are big balls of gases at really high temperatures. The high temperatures charge up the atoms and create plasma. Stars are another good example of how the temperature of plasmas can be very different. Fluorescent lights are cold compared to really hot stars. They are still both forms of plasma, even with different physical characteristics.

This entry was posted on 11 Agustus 2008 at 9:14 AM and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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