Browse Definitions :
Definition

plasma

Plasma is a form of matter in which many of the electrons wander around freely among the nuclei of the atoms. Plasma has been called the fourth state of matter, the other three being solid, liquid and gas.

Normally, the electrons in a solid, liquid, or gaseous sample of matter stay with the same atomic nucleus. Some electrons can move from atom to atom if an electrical current flows in a solid or liquid, but the motion occurs as short jumps by individual electrons between adjacent nuclei. In a plasma, a significant number of electrons have such high energy levels that no nucleus can hold them.

An atom that has lost some of its electrons, thereby attaining an electric charge, is an ion. When a gas is subjected to heat or an electric field, some of its atoms become ions, and the gas is said to be ionized. An ionized gas, unlike a gas in its normal condition, can conduct electrical current to a limited extent. If the heat or electric field becomes extreme, many of the atoms become ions. The resulting super-ionized gas is a plasma, which can conduct a large and sustained electric current.

The behavior and properties of plasmas have aroused interest and creative work among scientists and engineers. Applications include electric lamps, lasers, medical devices, energy converters, water purifiers and flat-panel video displays (see plasma display). About 99% of the visible universe is formed of plasma.

This was last updated in March 2017

Continue Reading About plasma

Join the conversation

2 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of plasma displays?
Cancel
A VERY HELPFUL TEXT
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • disaster recovery team

    A disaster recovery team is a group of individuals focused on planning, implementing, maintaining, auditing and testing an ...

  • cloud insurance

    Cloud insurance is any type of financial or data protection obtained by a cloud service provider. 

SearchStorage

  • RAID 6 (redundant array of independent disks)

    RAID 6, also known as double-parity RAID, uses two parity stripes on each disk. It allows for two disk failures within the RAID ...

  • hard disk drive (HDD)

    A computer hard disk drive (HDD) is a non-volatile memory hardware device that controls the positioning, reading and writing of ...

  • byte

    In most computer systems, a byte is a unit of data that is eight binary digits long. Bytes are often used to represent a ...

Close