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Ionized gas

  1. Apr 1, 2004 #1
    do any exist (possibly an isotope?) or is it posible to create an ionized gas without heating it up (i.e. making it a plasma)?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 2, 2004 #2


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    A flame is nothing more than ionized gas. So yes, ionized gas exists. You also have roughly an "ionized gas" in a typical conductor - the conduction electron gas. These are just your average, everyday examples beyond what you would find in a physics research lab.

    One can ionize gas a number of ways beyond just heating, such as electron/proton/etc bombardment, or strong electrical discharge (which is the same as electron bombardment but at a much larger scale).

  4. Apr 9, 2004 #3
    i guess what i was asking was whether or not such a gas exists naturally, without any human intervention (i.e. heating, bombardment, etc). and i guess what i mean by naturally is in nature, out of extreme conditions like lightning, the sun (i.e. at room temperature)
  5. Apr 10, 2004 #4
    i have yet another question (that is after the first one gets answered): what is the minimum temperature at which any gas can become ionized?
  6. Apr 12, 2004 #5


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    The upper atmosphere is mostly plasma. Ultraviolet photons from the sun break ionize the atoms there.

    Plasmas are not necessarily hot; all that you need to do is provide energy for the electrons to leave their atoms. That energy can come in forms other than heat, e.g. UV light, or an electric current passing through the gas.

    - Warren
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