Find a Comprehensive Science Book Mentions Plasma for Pre-University Students

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In summary, plasma is a topic that is not commonly covered in pre-university level physics or chemistry textbooks, but it is a fundamental concept in physics that can be found in various fields such as astrophysics and nuclear fusion. It is not a routine topic and there is no specific textbook for it, but there are resources available such as MIT OpenCourseWare that can provide a general understanding of plasmas.
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fysik
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hello
I was good in physics and chemistry at school and I have relatively good pre-university knowledge

but I never read about plasma

which book is complete enough starting from the beginning and mentioning plasma?

none of my physics or chemistry books mentioned plasma and it's really astonishing to miss out that fundamental knowledge!

I am not looking for a plasma-specific book, but rather a general science book that would mention few things about it! I excelled in last year school exams in physics and chemistry, yet I never heard of plasma!
 
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  • #2
It is not unlikely that few textbooks at a pre-university level address plasma. Many good undergraduate programs do not address plasma physics either. Plasma physics is generally studied by students with a strong mathematical background and a good knowledge of transport theory and electrodynamics at the university level. Pre-university of physics should mention familiar examples of plasmas, e.g. neon lights, aurora. The pre-university physics should probably mention other phases pf matter such as Bose Einstein condensate, dark matter?, superfluids etc to be complete, but an explanation of properties is a digression from what most pre-university student need. Mostly pre-universities live in a world with three phases; solid liquid, and gases. Further study of less familiar phases comes later
 
  • #3
so which general textbook mentions plasma? not plasma-specific book
 
  • #4
Volume 10: Physical Kinetics of the Landau & Lifschitz series spends ~40% of it on plasmas. I suspect this is significantly above your level, however browsing the contents pages may give you some ideas of starting points for googling. mpresic is right however, it's not really a routine topic. It isn't even mentioned in Young & Freedman for example (although the newest edition may have some mention). You may find some discussion of it in astrophysics texts, as it's a very common form of matter in space (e.g. in stars). It's sometimes mentioned in passing in low-level/general chemistry textbooks I think as well.

In my first year of engineering we had to do a general presentation (on anything, not necessarily technical) which I did on nuclear fusion and as a result had to discuss plasmas. I found the MIT OpenCourseWare very useful, browse some of the lecture slides from the courses on nuclear fusion and/or plasmas. The first few slides of the various courses will probably give you some general idea. The basic concept of plasmas isn't hard to grasp like, for example, a lot of quantum phenomena.

As I understand it (as a non specialist) a plasma is essentially just a gas which has been fully ionized. The ionization gives it some unique properties, particularly with respect to electromagnetic effects. However these properties haven't been fully understood so there isn't going to be a general book called "Plasma Physics 101" in the same way you won't find a text like this on other contemporary topics like graphene and nanoscience topics or modern string theory. It's just too recent and the field is moving too quickly for it to be realistically useful or economically viable to publish a textbook, particular one for such a (relative to the rest of the field) low level audience. You haven't encountered it because you don't really need to know anything beyond what's on wikipedia.
 

Related to Find a Comprehensive Science Book Mentions Plasma for Pre-University Students

1. What is plasma?

Plasma is the fourth state of matter, in addition to solid, liquid, and gas. It is a highly energized and ionized gas, made up of a collection of free-moving ions and electrons. Plasma is found in many natural phenomena, such as lightning, the sun, and stars, and is also used in various applications, including plasma TVs and fusion reactors.

2. How is plasma different from gas?

Plasma differs from gas in that it is highly ionized, meaning that its atoms have lost or gained electrons. This results in plasma having unique properties, such as being able to conduct electricity and being affected by magnetic fields. Gas, on the other hand, is composed of neutral atoms and molecules that do not possess these properties.

3. What are some examples of plasma in nature?

Some examples of plasma in nature include lightning, the aurora borealis (northern lights), the sun, and stars. Lightning is a natural occurrence of plasma that is created when a large buildup of static electricity is released. The aurora borealis is a colorful display of plasma in Earth's upper atmosphere, caused by the interaction of charged particles from the sun with Earth's magnetic field. The sun and stars are also composed of plasma, which allows them to produce heat and light through nuclear fusion reactions.

4. How is plasma used in everyday life?

Plasma has many practical applications in everyday life. Plasma TVs use small cells of plasma to produce images, resulting in a brighter and clearer picture compared to traditional TVs. Plasma is also used in fluorescent light bulbs and neon signs to produce light. In the medical field, plasma is used in blood transfusions to help patients with clotting disorders, and in sterilization processes for medical equipment. Fusion reactors, which use plasma to produce energy, are also being developed as a potential source of renewable energy.

5. How can students learn more about plasma?

Students can learn more about plasma through various educational resources, such as books, online articles, and videos. There are also many universities and research institutions that offer courses and programs specifically focused on plasma physics and its applications. Additionally, students can participate in science fairs and competitions where they can conduct experiments and research on plasma. Attending lectures and conferences on plasma can also provide students with a deeper understanding of this fascinating state of matter.

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