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Plasma Condensation

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  1. Nov 9, 2013 #1

    Physicist50

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    Hi there,

    I was wondering that if you took anything, let's use water as an example, evaporated it into a gas, then heated it until it became a plasma, (I don't know or care whether water molecules can be turned into a plasma, that's not the point,) could it be turned back into a liquid/solid? I ask this because I recently learnt that the main difference between a gas and a plasma - and especially the changing of state as opposed to solid-liquid, liquid-gas etc - is that the gas molecules lose electrons thus become charged and can be manipulated by magnetic fields. Would this affect them being able to simply be cooled down and turned into lower states of matter of the same compound? And if so, could they be?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 9, 2013 #2
    What's the question? A plasma will recombine into atoms/molecules very quickly if you don't confine it. They are literally just ionised versions of the original atoms. People spend a lot of time working out what the governing equations are of specific ions... and there are quite a lot of equations for even the simplest of plasmas.
     
  4. Nov 9, 2013 #3

    Physicist50

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    My question is: when the molecules settle to a liquid or solid from a plasma, will their behaviour as solids or liquids be affected seeing as the molecules have been ionised in the plasma state?
     
  5. Nov 10, 2013 #4
    No , but if the plasma had high enough densities and temperature to achieve fusion after the disruption of plasma you will get only a part of the original gas like hydrogen the other part will be a different gas like helium and stuff.

    You can go read on nuclear fusion.

    But sure if you just have a weak plasma then after you remove the confinement it will fall back to the gas that started it.
     
  6. Nov 10, 2013 #5

    Drakkith

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    Molecules that exist in a gas will be broken apart when they become a plasma. When you cool it back down there is no guarantee that the atoms will recombine into the same molecules again. Water itself would, as oxygen and hydrogen readily interact with each other to form water, but other molecules may not.
     
  7. Nov 10, 2013 #6

    Physicist50

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    Thanks Crazymechanic and Drakkith, I'll do some more research into that.
     
  8. Aug 25, 2016 #7
    Are you sure about that? Because even after 13.7 billion years 99% of the universe is still in the plasma state.
     
  9. Aug 25, 2016 #8

    Drakkith

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    Do you have a reference for that number? It doesn't sound right to me.
     
  10. Aug 25, 2016 #9
    The process is Marklund Convection which occurs in a plasma and leads first to the chemical separation then finally condensing into what we call solids, liquids and gasses - planetary systems.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marklund_convection

    But understand that in 13.7 billion years only 1% of the universe has condensed into solids, liquids and gasses - planetary systems. The other 99% is still in the plasma state.
     
  11. Aug 25, 2016 #10
    NASA good enough?

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/1999/ast07sep99_1/
    "99.9 percent of the Universe is made up of plasma," says Dr. Dennis Gallagher, a plasma physicist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. "

    If not do a simple Google search and take your pick of references. Although technically I should have said 99.9% and .1%.
     
  12. Aug 25, 2016 #11

    Physicist50

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    Hi Justatruthseeker,
    Thank you for your responses, amazing to see that someone found this nearly 3 years after it started.

    I haven't heard of Marklund convection before, that's definitely something I'll look into.

    Thanks again,
    -Physicist50
     
  13. Aug 25, 2016 #12

    Drakkith

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    Huh. I wouldn't have thought the percentage was so high. Interesting.
     
  14. Aug 25, 2016 #13
    Wrong choice of adverbs. "even after...still" suggest that the universe was always mostly plasma. But the universe went through various epochs. At around year 378000, most of the plasma in the universe recombined and became neutral matter. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recombination_(cosmology)
    Reionization occurred later (year 150M - 1B) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reionization
     
  15. Aug 25, 2016 #14

    Drakkith

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    Ah, that explains my confusion. I was thinking that if almost all of the gas in the universe were ionized then it would be opaque. But the following quote from the wiki article on reionization says otherwise:

    The second phase change occurred once objects started to condense in the early universe that were energetic enough to re-ionize neutral hydrogen. As these objects formed and radiated energy, the universe reverted from being neutral, to once again being an ionized plasma. This occurred between 150 million and one billion years after the Big Bang (at a redshift 6 < z < 20).[citation needed] At that time, however, matter had been diffused by the expansion of the universe, and the scattering interactions of photons and electrons were much less frequent than before electron-proton recombination. Thus, a universe full of low density ionized hydrogen will remain transparent, as is the case today.
     
  16. Aug 28, 2016 #15
    Based on what, using the physics for 1% of the universe to attempt to describe the other 99%? I expect one would need to normalize and then renormalize the results using the wrong physics for the wrong states of matter.
     
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