Plasma Conductivity

  • #1
Is it possible for plasma to be conducted through a metal wire? I was wondering if you supply the wire with enough plasma to light a low power LED.
 

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  • #2
ZapperZ
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Is it possible for plasma to be conducted through a metal wire? I was wondering if you supply the wire with enough plasma to light a low power LED.
Er... a plasma is highly unstable under such circumstances. It WANTS to not be a plasma, and considering the fact that it is inside a material and can easily bump into other entities..... If you look at the fact that even in vacuum chamber, it is that difficult to maintain a plasma state, that should give you your answer.

Zz.
 
  • #3
What if you used a magnetic field to hold the plasma steady?
 
  • #4
ZapperZ
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What if you used a magnetic field to hold the plasma steady?
That's fine. But where are you going to find in outer space not only "magnetic fields" strong enough to hold it, but also having the right geometry to be able to cause such long-range coherence?

Look at the scenario you are proposing and see if this is a realistic expectation/requirement. You are suggesting that this "thing", that occupies a substantial portion of our universe, has just the right magnetic field (from who knows where) with the right geometry all over our visible universe, to cause these gasses to make a BE condensation. This seems reasonable to you?

Zz.
 
  • #5
Um... where did the universe come into this? I'm only talking abot a half-inch blob, not a freaking star. Also, what do you mean by geometry?
 
  • #6
ZapperZ
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Um... where did the universe come into this? I'm only talking abot a half-inch blob, not a freaking star. Also, what do you mean by geometry?
The geometry as in the geometry of the magnetic field that you want to hold this plasma inside a conductor. You will note that in the plasma confinement devices, you need a specific geometry to be able to hold such a plasma, and it isn't trivial. Furthermore, a conductor tends to shield a lot of external EM fields up to the skin depth of the conductor. You cannot maintain such magnetic fields inside a conductor to hold such plasma.

The other part about the universe is simply my confusion with another thread.

Zz.
 
  • #7
LURCH
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A magnetic field would indeed help contain the plasma, but would do it far better without the wire.

EDIT TO ADD:

Although I should point out the research being done into http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surface_plasmon" [Broken], mostly in the field of nanotechnology.
 
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  • #8
Ummm - what's with the "plasmon" stuff? Isn't plasma just free-floating subatomic particles?
 
  • #9
ZapperZ
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Ummm - what's with the "plasmon" stuff? Isn't plasma just free-floating subatomic particles?
This is why you have to really read and understand something first. Naively, a plasmon is simply a collective behavior of the conduction electrons of metals. It is not a "plasma" in the sense that you want. The same way one can "quantize" lattice vibrations and call them "phonons", one can also deal with the conduction electrons in a metal via some collective property. Because the conduction electrons are simply thought of to be a "gas", they call them a "plasmon". However, this is NOT the plasma that we normally associate with and that we hear about.

Zz.
 
  • #11
LURCH
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Right, I just included that tidbit because, in some ways, plasmons behave like a plasma for conducting information. This is the property in which nanotechnologists are interested, and seemed like it might be the same sort of behavior being asked about in the OP.
 

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