MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: Phase change from gas to plasma

Date: Tue Oct 17 13:15:54 2000
Posted By: Robert Kribel, Faculty, Physics, Auburn University
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 969415440.Ch

The transition from a gas to a plasma is called ionization.  There is some 
disagreement on whether or not the transition from a gas to a plasma is a 
true phase change.  The answer depends on how you define a phase change.

Some feel that there are only three states of matter: solids, liquids, and 
gases.  They hold that plasma is not a new state of matter, but rather is 
an ionized gas.  Thus, in this view, plasma is just a special case of the 
gas phase.

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