Could thermite be used to bring certain types of matter to a plasma state? If so what materials would be easiest to render into a plasma? Inspired by the german experimental shockwave cannon from WWII...
I got to wondering. If a 3 layered charge were used in such a weapon, one layer a finely powdered & compressed thermite mixture is both ignited and propeled by an explosive charge layer, could that ignited thermite layer render the 3rd layer [also a finely powdered & compressed element] into a plasma state in travel. Such would create a weapon that fired a torroidal shockwave of super hot plasma. Thus creating the worlds first true plasma cannon.
The shockwave cannon already exists. [though the barrel would probably have to be lined with tungsten]
Thermite is a well known substance.
2 out of 3 pieces of the puzzle are already there. All that remains is identifying a element that a thermite reaction can be ionize and render to plasma state in the time it takes the shockwave to reach the end if the barrel, or very shortly thereafter.
So. Does such a 3rd element exist? Is it possible?