Presence of plasma in space

Presence of plasma in space

Recent research on the plasma subject has attracted immense attention due to its applications in various fields of space and astrophysics. The field of space plasma is a rapidly emerging area of plasma science research. Significant advances in space technology and advances in plasma science research can be attributed to our knowledge of the space environment. The joint work of astronomers and geophysicists with the help of data from space experiments has discovered a very important plasma connection between the Sun and the Earth.

It is believed that the fourth state of matter is plasma. As the temperature increases, the state of matter changes from solid to liquid and then to gas. With a further increase in temperature, some or all atoms of the neutral gas become ionized. The gas becomes fully or partially ionized, which is known as the plasma state. The word ‘plasma’ is of Greek origin, meaning ‘mold-able substance’, meaning ‘mouldable substance’. In 1879, Sir William Crooks first identified it as ‘radiant matter’, meaning ‘bright matter’. After that in 1897, Sir J.J. Thomson identified this nature of matter. American physicists Levi Tox and Irving Langmuir used the term plasma in 1929 to describe the internal field of a brightly ionized gas produced through discharged electricity.

Plasma is a semi-neutral gas of charged and neutral particles showing collective behavior. As these charges begin to move around, they generate local concentrations of either positive or negative charge, giving rise to electric fields. The movement of charges also generates electric currents and thus creates magnetic fields, which affect the motion of other charged particles located far away.

About 99 percent of the visible matter in the universe is in the state of plasma. we are lucky Tau Ceti is a very large dusty plasma or circle of dust around the star. It is said that this asteroid is made of dust because there is very little science that can explain the amount of dust found around this star.

That 1 percent of the matter on Earth is in some state other than plasma. However, plasma is still present in the ionosphere, in the auroras, and within the electric currents (channels) in the Earth’s magnetosphere. Plasma in the Solar System is seen in the solar wind, planetary magnetospheres, and comets, while plasma forms the giant plasma rings (toroids) around Jupiter and Saturn. The Sun itself and its corona and the rest of the stars are giant plasma balls.


Dusty (fine) plasma

Dust and plasma exist together in the universe, resulting in the formation of dusty plasma. It is a special form of plasma, the origin of which is wholly or partially due to ionized gases. These are composed of ions, electrons and small-sized (micro-sized) particles of extremely large (or finer) charged dust (compared to ions and electrons). These are normal electron-ion plasmas with an additional charged component of macroparticles.

Dusty plasma is found in space environments. These are the space environment—the asteroid belt, planet rings, comet tails, Earth’s ionosphere, the lower part of the magnetic field, and the (interstellar medium). In a dusty plasma, dust particles can weigh up to a billion times more than ions and can acquire several thousand electron charges. Dust particles are charged due to various physical processes. Charges acquired by dust particles in various physical processes such as a collection of the background plasma electrons and ions, photoelectron emission, secondary electron emission, thermionic emission, etc. are done. Electrons are generated when particles are negatively-charged due to irradiation of ultraviolet rays. Charging of dusty plasma appears as a new physical process of dusty plasma, which distinguishes between dusty plasma and normal multi-component electron-ion plasma containing two ion species.

Negatively charged dust particles (fine) particles in plasma are generated only when the dust particles are collected by the plasma through electrons and ions and this process is the most important charging process. However, there are other important charging methods through which dust particles become negatively charged.


Quantum plasma 

Plasma can be considered a quantum plasma when the quantum nature of its particles greatly affects its macroscopic properties. Quantum plasma is made up of electrons, ions, positrons, and holes. The theory of quantum plasma was developed with the help of well-known mathematical models. These are the Schrödinger–Poisson model, the Winger–Poisson model, and the quantum hydrodynamic model.

Research in quantum plasma now includes laboratory plasma and its applications in various fields of astrophysics. These include the manufacturing of semiconductor devices, quantum dots and quantum wires, quantum wells, carbon nanotubes, and quantum diodes, ultra-cold Plasma, microplasma, biophotonics, rapid – laser solid – density plasma experiments, etc. Quantum plasmas are even more important in the study of ultra-dense celestial bodies such as white dwarf stars, neutron stars, etc. The presence of dense quantum plasma can be observed in nature such as in the interior of planets like Saturn, and Jupiter, the surface of brown and white dwarfs and neutron stars, etc.

Traditionally, plasma physics has mainly emphasized systems with high temperatures and low densities, for which quantum mechanical effects have virtually no effect. However, recent technological advances have made it possible to envisage practical applications of plasma physics in semiconductors, where the quantum nature of particles plays an important role. The quantum effect can no longer be ignored at room temperature and standard metal densities, as the electron gas comprises an ideal region for studying the dynamical properties of a quantum plasma. Some astrophysical objects must be observed under extreme conditions of temperature and density, such as white dwarf stars, and neutron stars, where the density is a few tens of times larger than that of ordinary solids.

The quantum aspect must be considered when studying some astrophysical objects under extreme conditions of temperature and density, these objects are white dwarf stars, and neutron stars, where the density is tens of times larger than that of a normal solid object Quantum plasma differs widely from ancient plasma.


Magnetic plasma

Magnetic plasma is defined as in which the magnetic field is strong enough to control the motion of charged particles. Magnetic plasmas are anisotropic, which means that their properties are different from those perpendicular to the direction parallel to the magnetic field. Conversely, electric fields in plasma are generally small, because they have high conductivity, and the electric field moves in the magnetic field, but this is not affected by Debye shielding.

The northern and southern light often seen near the Arctic and Antarctic Circle at night is due to our planet’s magnetic system, which includes the unique northern polar light and the southern polar light. When the electrons of the magnetic field collide with the Earth’s magnetic field with atmospheric particles moving at an altitude of 100 to 200 km in the upper atmosphere, the effect of this collision is the creation of aurora (light).


Non-Maxwellian distributions in plasma

Space plasma is collision-free and the particles associated with it are explained by non-Maxwellian behavior. The study of cosmic plasma has undoubtedly revealed the presence of ions and electrons, which are far from their thermodynamic equilibrium. In general plasma, electrons with a non-Maxwellian f-energy distribution are found in interstellar plasma environments such as the magnetosphere, the astrophysical plasma, and the solar wind.


Non-thermal distribution

Space plasma research has revealed the presence of ion and electron numbers that are not in thermodynamic equilibrium in the space environment. Separate research confirms the existence of powerful electrons in a range of intergalactic plasma environments, such as the Earth’s bow-shock (waves produced by the collision of intergalactic solar) and pre-vibration. Bow-shock and pre-vibration zones are the ionospheres of Upper Mars and the region around the Moon. Measurements of their distribution functions also show them to be nonthermal. In different regions of the magnetic field, powerful electron distributions are also observed. The Vela satellite recorded non-thermal ions in the Earth’s bow-shock region. The Phobos-2 satellite also recorded the loss of energetic ions in Mars’ upper ionosphere. In addition, the Nozomi satellite indicated the occurrence of fast-moving protons near Earth in the vicinity of the Moon.


Kappa distribution

The generalized Lorentzian distribution is a non-Maxwellian distribution, known as the Kappa distribution. The kappa distribution was used to describe the different space plasma numbers in the heliosphere (the region far from the Sun’s influence, where the rest of space begins). This includes the region from the solar wind and the planetary ionosphere to the inner heliosphere (the region beyond the heliosphere) and beyond.


Q-Non-wide distribution

Non-comprehensive statistics, or Salis statistics, is a new statistical approach that has been proposed to study cases where it would not be possible to interpret through a Maxwell distribution. It was first approved in 1955 by A. Rainey and later recommended by C. Tsalis in 1988.

There are many papers on plasma in space science and the research on plasma science will help in enriching space science and technology.

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