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From The Plasma Universe theory (Wikipedia-like Encyclopedia)
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Know plasma, know 99.999% of the Universe

(No plasma, no Universe)


The Plasma Universe is a term coined by Nobel Laureate Hannes Alfvén to highlight the importance of plasma throughout the Universe. See how much you think you know below, and then check out our articles and images and Plasma Universe Timeline:


1: What is plasma?
Aurora-earth.jpg
What is plasma? We're familiar with solids, liquids and gases, such as solid ice, liquid water and gaseous steam. But heat atoms more, and they 'split' into free ions and electrons: a plasma, eg, the electrified aurora, above.
2: Where is plasma?
Sun-corona.jpg
The Universe is 99.999% plasma. The Sun is about 100% plasma, as are all stars. Plasma makes up nearly 100% of the interplanetary, interstellar and intergalactic medium. The Earth's ionosphere is plasma.
3: Why is plasma so?
Plasma-lamp 2.jpg
All plasmas react more strongly to electromagnetic forces than gravity, by definition. Hence 99.999% of the Universe reacts more strongly to electromagnetic forces. And all space plasmas produce magnetic fields.

4: Electrified plasmas
Heliospheric-current-sheet edit.jpg
Space plasma moving through a magnetic field generates its own electric current, can act as a unipolar inductor, and conducts electricity better than metals. Eg. the heliospheric current sheet above, and Birkeland currents.
5: Plasma filaments
Ant-nebula-rotated.jpg
Strong radial magnetic fields can make a plasma pinch like the hourglass-shaped nebula above; produce characteristic filaments like in the plasma ball (top row); and produce particle beams as seen in the dense plasma focus.
6: Galaxy simulation
Peratt-galaxy-simulation.gif
Computer simulations of two interacting Birkeland currents with plasma clouds trapped in parallel magnetic filaments simulate evolving galaxy formations, without the need for dark matter and black holes!

7: Complex dusty plasmas
Ngc-6751.jpg
A gas as little as 1% ionized may behave as a plasma (eg. the ionosphere). In addition to light and friction, dust and grains are charged inside a plasma, and behave as one, such as the Glowing Eye Nebula, above.
8: Quasi-neutrality
M87-marshall.jpg
The quasi-neutrality of plasmas, means they tend to be electrically neutral. But plasmas can also violate quasi-neutrality, producing charged regions in double layers and particle beams, such as M87's 5000 light-years jet, above.
9: From lab to space
Dense-plasma-focus-sheath.jpg
Plasma Universe research derives from laboratory experiments, such as the dense plasma focus above, with pioneers such as Kristian Birkeland, Hannes Alfvén, Winston H. Bostick. Compare this image with the nebula, far left



Plasma is sometimes described as the first state of matter
in addition to solid, liquids and gases


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The Plasma Universe
Know plasma, know 99.999% of the Universe
Astrophysics from the laboratory to the Cosmos

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