1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What if we created plasma that ionizes at room temperature?

  1. Nov 1, 2011 #1
    I was wondering if we could create some gaseous matter whose ionization energy is very low, so it can be fully ionized under room temperature, thus converted in plasma.

    I know that plasma loses energy quickly by radiation, if we could harness this radiated energy, won't this violate the second law of thermodynamics?

    I then thought that the radiated energy may be re-absorbed by other non ionized atoms, but if the ionization energy was law enough, the number of ionized matter would be much more than non ionized, and so it can keep radiating at room temperature. I don't know how thermal equilibrium is achieved here.

    Assuming the existence of such a kind of matter is far from true, but I want to know what exactly defends the second law in that case?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 1, 2011 #2

    boneh3ad

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    You can ionize air at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. Look up dielectric barrier discharge. It is a non-thermal plasma.
     
  4. Nov 1, 2011 #3
    the case you are mentioning requires a high voltage input,

    I'm talking about a different case, the ionization here takes place due to the thermal energy of atmospheric molecules, there is no energy input required but the ambient temperature.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: What if we created plasma that ionizes at room temperature?
Loading...