What is Plasma?

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What is Plasma?

Plasma is state of matter usually referred to as the fourth state of matter (the other three conventional ones being solid, liquid and gas). Of the three phases of matter, plasma is closest in state to gas, only its electrons float freely in the plasma, separate from its nucleons. It is because of this property that plasma is very reactive to electric and magnetic fields. It is believed that plasma is the most abundant materials in the universe. Scientists theorize that over 99% of the known universe is made up of plasma.
While plasma is abundant in outer space, on Earth, it is not. The same environment that support life on earth makes it an environment that is not conducive to plasma naturally occurring. Examples of plasma that can be encountered in normal everyday life would be fire, lightning, or the light from computer screens.
Plasma can be understood simply with the example of a fluorescent or neon light. These kinds of light are composed of a tube filled with air. Once connected to an electrical source, the gas becomes charged, and plasma is created which we perceive visually as light. The color of the light will depend on what gas is inside the tube. In outer space, stars such as our sun and the aurora borealis are made of plasma.

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