Plasma, often referred to as the fourth state of matter, exists in a state that transcends the familiar trio of solid, liquid and gas. Unlike these traditional states, plasma is a high-energy ionised gas consisting of positively charged ions and free electrons. This unique composition gives plasma its conductivity and makes it a dynamic force in various applications.
At its core, plasma is a collection of charged particles that result from the ionisation of gas. The high temperature and energy levels cause electrons to dissociate from atoms, creating a mix of positively charged ions and free electrons. This ionised gas state imbues plasma with extraordinary properties, including the ability to conduct electricity and respond to magnetic fields.
Natural occurrences and laboratory creation
While plasma is commonly associated with celestial bodies such as stars, including the sun, it can also be artificially created in laboratories. In these controlled environments, gases are subjected to high temperatures or intense electromagnetic fields, leading to the formation of plasma.
Applications of plasma
The versatility of plasma extends to an array of practical applications across diverse fields. In technology, plasma is used in the creation of plasma display panels (PDPs) and neon signs, harnessing its ability to emit light. Plasma cutting and welding utilise the high temperature and conductivity of plasma to precisely and efficiently cut or join metals. Plasma also finds applications in medical treatments, including sterilisation and the development of plasma-based therapies. If you need a thermal plasma spray, companies such as poeton.co.uk/advanced-treatments/apticote-800-thermal-plasma-spray/ can help.
Plasma in electronics
In the realm of electronics, plasma plays a pivotal role. Plasma TVs, for example, use ionised gases to emit ultraviolet light; in turn, this stimulates phosphors to produce visible light. This technology revolutionised television displays, offering sharper images and vibrant colours.