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The Plasma State

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Handbook of Thermal Plasmas


This chapter serves as an introduction to the vast and rapidly growing field of plasmas science and technology. A brief introduction defining what is a plasma and the different types of plasmas, whether natural or man-made, is presented. This is followed by a review of the main characteristics and applications of man-made plasmas. Separate sections deal with nonequilibrium, man-made plasmas, whether glow discharges, corona discharges, dielectric barrier discharges (DBD), or microwave plasmas and their respective industrial applications. Thermal, man-made plasmas are discussed next, identifying the basic concepts for the generation of such plasmas followed by a description of principal thermal plasma sources and their respective industrial applications. Whenever applicable, forward referencing is made to subsequent chapters in the handbook where further details are given on the different subjects.

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Alternating current


Complete local thermodynamic equilibrium


Chemical vapor deposition


Dielectric barrier discharges


Direct current


Diamond-like carbon


Electric arc furnace


Electron beam-physical vapor deposition




Erosion rate


General motors


High intensity discharge


Hospital solid waste


Inductively coupled plasma


Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry


Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy


Low-level radioactive waste


Local thermodynamic equilibrium


Lux per Watt


Metal inert gas


Microwave-induced plasmas


Municipal solid waste


National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Plasma-assisted chemical vapor deposition


Plasma-assisted physical vapor deposition


Partial local thermodynamic equilibrium


Plasma sprayed-physical vapor deposition


Plasma vapor deposition


Radio frequency


Sewage sludge waste


Tungsten inert gas


Ton per hour


Traveling wave discharges




Volatile organic compounds


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Correspondence to Maher I. Boulos .

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Boulos, M.I., Fauchais, P.L., Pfender, E. (2023). The Plasma State. In: Boulos, M.I., Fauchais, P.L., Pfender, E. (eds) Handbook of Thermal Plasmas. Springer, Cham.

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