Further Applications or Experimentation

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Further Applications or Experimentation

Postby Leianne » Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:23 pm

Hi. I am a 9th grader in a high school honors chem class. My groups project dealt with how nanoparticles and power level of the microwave affected plasma (or ball lightning) formed in a microwave. We found that the more nanoparticles avaible and the highest power setting produces plasma more often. I have been assigned the further applications or experimentation and i can not think of any ideas for this part of the project. Most people say there are no applications for plasma which discourages me. (By the way I am not refering to blood 'plasma' at all.) Do you have any ideas?
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Re: Further Applications or Experimentation

Postby John Dreher » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:09 am

The applications for plasmas that I’ve heard of are for lighting, e.g. fluorescent lights and plasma displays; for cutting and welding; for cleaning; for vapor deposition of thin films; for processing of semiconductor electronic devices, e.g. computer chips; for spacecraft propulsion, i.e. ion drives; for magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) electricity generation; for atomic clocks, e.g. cesium frequency standards; and for weapons of mass destruction, i.e. thermonuclear bombs. In the future, fusion power plants will use plasmas — many large plasma devices are used in fusion power R&D today. All these and more can be found by a Google search on
“uses for plasma -blood”
(without the quotes). Here is one I noticed:

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/top ... of-plasmas

Also, plasmas are used in many areas of physical sciences research and play an important role in numerous astrophysical phenomenon ranging from the aurora borealis to the big bang.

Hope that helps a little.

PS Thanks for bringing ball lightning in a microwave oven to my attention. I had not heard of this fascinating phenomenon. Very cool!
John Dreher
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