Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Can we experience plasma by rubbing hands together?

  1. Jun 5, 2012 #1
    Here's the story, me and my boyfriend share things we learned from attending seminars.
    He told me that a speaker in one of the seminars he attended last month told them that by rubbing our two hands together, we could experience the presence of 'plasma' - the fourth state of matter. Here's exactly what he asked me to do:

    1.) Rub hands together in few minutes and take a deep breath
    2.) slowly move your hands apart while rubbing
    3.) then you will experience quite an attraction, the speaker referred to as plasma

    i argued that what we experience by rubbing both hands is static electricity and plasma exists when gases get ionized upon heated, like the sun and gases in a fluorescent lamp.

    Am I right? or am I missing something else.

    Thanks in advance :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 6, 2012 #2
    Electric field accelerates electrons, causing collision. High-energy electrons can ionize the atom upon collision. Of course heat and light can do the same.
  4. Jun 6, 2012 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    You may or may not generate some electrostatic charge by rubbing your hands together vigourously and then separating them.

    You certainly will NOT generate plasma. Your definition of plasma seems "spot on".
  5. Jun 6, 2012 #4
    I think what we feel when we rub hands together is heat but not plasma. The plasma is the flowing of ionized charge. Our hands are dielectric material, so it is not reasonable to have ions by rubbing hand.
  6. Jun 6, 2012 #5
    thank you all for the replies, very well appreciated. :)
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook