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Definition of the Plasma State

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Plasma Physics


The plasma state is a gaseous mixture of positive ions and electrons. Plasmas can be fully ionized, as the plasma in the Sun, or partially ionized, as in fluorescent lamps, which contain a large number of neutral atoms. In this section we will discuss the defining qualities of the plasma state, which result from the fact that we have a huge number of charged particles that interact by electric forces. In particular we will see that the plasma state is able to react in a collective manner. Therefore, the plasma medium is more then the sum of its constituents.

“I can’t tell you just now what the the moral of that is, but I shall remember it in a bit.”

“Perhaps it hasn’t one”, Alice ventured to remark.

“Tut, tut, child!” said the Duchess, “Everything ’s got a moral, if only you can find it.”

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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Correspondence to Alexander Piel .

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© 2010 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

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Piel, A. (2010). Definition of the Plasma State. In: Plasma Physics. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-642-10490-9

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-642-10491-6

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