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What is a Plasma?

  • Francis F. Chen
  • Jane P. Chang

Abstract

Plasma is matter heated beyond its gaseous state, heated to a temperature so high that atoms are stripped of at least one electron in their outer shells, so that what remains are positive ions in a sea of free electrons. This ionization process is something we shall study in more detail. Not all the atoms have to be ionized: the cooler plasmas used in plasma processing are only 1–10% ionized, with the rest of the gas remaining as neutral atoms or molecules. At higher temperatures, such as those in nuclear fusion research, plasmas become fully ionized, meaning that all the particles are charged, not that the nuclei have been stripped of all their electrons.

Keywords

Plasma Processing Inertial Confinement Fusion Continuous Fluid National Ignition Facility Cool Plasma 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francis F. Chen
    • 1
  • Jane P. Chang
    • 2
  1. 1.Electrical Engineering DepartmentUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Chemical Engineering DepartmentUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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