Plasma is by far the most common form of matter. Plasma in the stars and in the tenuous space between them makes up over 99% of the visible universe and perhaps most of that which is not visible.
On earth we live upon an island of “ordinary” matter. The different states of matter generally found on earth are solid, liquid, and gas. We have learned to work, play, and rest using these familiar states of matter. Sir William Crookes, an English physicist, identified a fourth state of matter, now called plasma, in 1879.
The word “PLASMA” was first applied to ionized gas by Dr. Irving Langmuir, an American chemist and physicist, in 1929.
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Plasma can be accelerated and steered by electric and magnetic fields, which allows it to be controlled and applied. Plasma research is yielding a greater understanding of the universe. It also provides many practical uses: new manufacturing techniques, consumer products, the prospect of abundant energy, more efficient lighting, surface cleaning, waste removal, and many more application topics.