2 December 2023

Did you know that there is a fourth state of matter? Most likely you didn’t know him. Well, they always teach us the three main phases, the solid, liquid and gas, however, there is a fourth, the plasmatic. The reason is that chemistry is as amazing as life itself. Keep reading and learn more about the fascinating world of plasma that surrounds us

Concept and meaning of plasma

We commonly hear that plasma is related to blood (blood plasma). We often hear that someone donated plasma, but little do we really know what it is. To reach its true meaning we must start from its word, that is, the origin of the concept, plasma means “formation.” The concept of plasma can vary according to each science, function and application.

In general, in chemistry we are dealing with particles that move without an apparent order. We observe this in the matter of large bodies, an example, the sun. From this meaning we start with other sciences, biology. Plasma in humans is that liquid region of the blood where blood cells are found Which are suspended within this fluid, there are white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets.

In physics, the plasma is a kind of matter in gas, which is in ionization. Consequently, there is a balanced amount of free charges, negative and positive. It is considered to be the most abundant type of material in the universe. How we see plasma has a wide meaning in different disciplines. However, they are based on the same concept, in which the particles are the protagonists.

What is the plasma state?

Plasma is known as the fourth phase of matter. It is considered autonomous other than gas. Well, they differ in what in the gaseous state there are no significant effects as in plasma. Which means that, in the plasma, there are a series of interactions of impact, electric and magnetic field.

This is due to the fact that there is a significant quantity of ions in an unwrapped manner in it. One of the most outstanding characteristics of this state is to be a conductor of electricity. The atoms move freely and at high temperatures the detachment of electrons occurs.

What is plasma in states of matter?

We know the three basic facets of matter, solid, liquid and gas. But it turns out that there is a fourth way, the plasmatic one. We arrive at it by heating the gaseous matter. This causes agitation or the accelerated movement of particles. Obtaining from there that the electrons detach from their orbit, which generates electrical conduction.

In this way it is possible to observe this state as an amorphous matter. Also thanks to research we know that the 99% of what is in the universe it’s in plasma. However, obtaining this aggregation status is not that common.

Then, you will wonder why it is what represents everything on the planet. Well this is because most celestial bodies Plasma compounds are found. To better illustrate what plasma is in the states of matter, read the following example:

We know water in a liquid state and we know that when subjected to heat it changes into a gaseous form. If we apply more heat (energy) to the steam we obtain the agitation of the electrons in orbit, leading to ionization of the oxygen and hydrogen atoms that make up water. This produces the conduction of electricity.

What is plasma used for?

Plasma has varied and highly appreciated utilities. In the biological case, this is It makes up 55% of the blood. So in it are the mineral salts and proteins essential for the proper functioning of the body.

With this, we already know from the outset that if there is a problem with the blood plasma we will have health problems. However, studies have led to the successful application of plasma for various diseases.

For example, in the case of scars and burns, there is a treatment based on blood plasma, also for cancer. In this case it has been discovered that the plasma, but not blood, but one composed of inert gas, It is effective for the treatment of cancer.

It is an innovative technique that combines knowledge from various disciplines. Such as Physics, chemistry, biology and medicine, these are applied for non-invasive techniques.

Conventional procedures in the treatment of cancer tumors They are based on methods such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy. These, in many cases, are not entirely effective, as the cancer returns. However, the innovative plasma technique surprises many.

Broadly speaking, this method allows for a less invasive treatment. And in turn, preserves healthy organs by minimizing damage. On the other hand, the application and use of the fourth phase of matter in technological gadgets is fascinating.

Did you not know that televisions and computers are made of the main topic we are talking about. Yes, these screens are made up of xenon and neon gases. Also in the fluorescent light bulbs and lights of the flashes In welding works the use of plasma is recognizable. In the same way, we find it in nature, an example is lightning and flames.

What is the composition of plasma?

Plasma and gas are two very similar phases of matter. Although not equal of course. The first is differentiated by the ionization of its gases. On the other hand, in the gaseous facet the electrons do not detach from the orbit.

On the other hand, there is blood plasma with a defined composition. In it we find very important particles for the body. White blood cells, red blood cells, platelets, mineral salts and proteins. Blood plasma allows the transport of essential compounds such as antibodies. An antibody is a protein that binds to another substance and helps protect the body.

What are the characteristics of plasma?

First of all, plasma is a gas-like state. This is characterized by being bright, hot and very electric. It is formed by submitting gaseous matter at high temperatures. Heat as an activity is the protagonist in this process. Other features also stand out:

  • Ionization capacity: It is what comes after applying a lot of energy (heat) to the gas, the electrons are shaken and the particles are ionized.
  • Its composition is of atoms: These are ionized, that is, they have an electrical charge. There are positively charged particles and they are called cations. There are also negatively charged atoms, which are called electrons. Both are called ions. For this reason it is said that plasma is a facet of ionized matter.
  • Another characteristic of plasma is to be neutral: This refers to the fact that in its structure there is the same amount of negative and positive charge.
  • Plasma can appear in various contexts: That is why to define it, the following parameters have been established:
  • Neutrality: As previously mentioned, plasma is made up of the same number of positive and negative charges.
  • Lengths: It refers to the plasmatic wavelength.
  • Frequency: It is a measure of the lengths of the plasma. It also describes the times that are characteristic of it.
  • Temperature: In this parameter it is stated that the higher the temperature, the greater the dispersion of the velocity of the particles.

Plasma will always be composed of ionized particles. Will be able perceive cations and electrons in its composition. It is also important to keep in mind that we can obtain it from high temperatures. That is, when heat is applied to a gas, the atoms shake and give off electrons.

The uses of plasma are very beneficial for technology and health. It is remarkable the fact of the application of plasma for health, especially in cancer treatments. Highlighting non-invasive techniques thanks to plasma.

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