|We learned that we can find gases in water. Can
we ever find plasmas under water?
|Question Date: 2007-12-10|
Technically, we don't find gases in water.
"Gas" is a state of matter, so a little pocket of
gas could be surrounded by water, but then we call
it a bubble. Instead, what we find is that some
substances like oxygen or carbon dioxide, which
would be gases under normal conditions, can be
dissolved in water. But then they're not gases
anymore, they're part of a liquid mixture or
Plasmas would be the same as
gases. Plasma is a state of matter which is so
energetic that some or all of the atoms have had
their electrons stripped off. Plasma is made of
free electrons and the positively-charged atoms
(ions) which are left behind when an electron
leaves. This is too energetic a state to coexist
with water. Either Plasma would boil the water, or
the water would cool the plasma, or else the
plasma would occur only within a
People who do underwater welding
sometimes can sometimes generate Plasma under some
conditions. But that only means that the water
immediately surrounding the torch is boiling away
faster than the water can cool the plasma. So
there's actually no plasma in the liquid water
itself, although the steam (gaseous water) can
become part of the plasma. Otherwise the plasma
just generates a bubble.
I've looked around a bit and can't find too
much information for or against.My best guess
would be that it is not possible, since plasmas
have much more energy than gases, and it would
probably be very difficult to keep them stuck in
the water. However, it is possible to have solid
particles stuck inside a plasma, in industrial
processing plasmas or space plasmas. These types
of plasmas are called dusty plasmas. This would
be another example of a colloid, which is when one
state of matter is suspended in another state of
matter - just like having a gas in water (a
Plasmas are by far the most common phase of
matter in the universe, both by mass and by
volume. All the stars are made of plasma, and
even the space between the stars is filled with a
plasma (a very sparse one). Common forms of plasma
exist within gas phases such as the polar aurora
and lightening. There are also lots of
astrophysical plasmas like stars etc. Industrial
plasmas include plasma displays (like Plasma TVs)
and inside fluorescent and neon lamps. However, I
dont know of and was not able to find any examples
of plasma within a water phase.
First off, gasses dissolve in water,
but when they are dissolved they aren't
technically gasses. They are dissolved solutes
that become gasses if released.
ionized matter, and to ionize matter you need
temperatures of at least 3000K (about
5000Fahrenheit!). The boiling point of water is
373.15 K.Now, the boiling point does increase if
you put water under pressure, but the water is
still going to be lower temperature than the
plasma. If the plasma is hot enough, it will
ionize the water around it and make more plasma.
This of course will cool the plasma off, and
pretty soon it's not going to be hot enough to be
ionized anymore, and it will stop being plasma.
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