Does it really matter what the fifth estate is? – Book Review
Plasma has been called magic, it’s been called the fourth state of matter, well come to think of it, it’s been called a lot of things, hasn’t it? As our scientists progress and humans travel to off-planet destinations, the study of plasma will continue to be an important part of the understanding we will need. Consider if you like the importance of plasma physics and this fourth state of matter, and why our future scientist will need to be well versed on the subject.
WikiPedia explains plasma this way; “In physics and chemistry, plasma is a gas-like state of matter in which a certain portion of the particles are ionized. The basic premise is that heating a gas dissociates its molecular bonds, converting it to its constituent atoms. Further heating leads to inonization (a loss or gain of electrons), turning it into a plasma: containing charged particles, positive ions and negative electrons”, and I’d say that sums it up nicely.
But that’s not the half of it, because consider all the potential applications and uses, not just for spaceflight, propulsion, power generation, etc., but also for our understanding of matter in general, along with the universe we live in. . . If this subject interests you as much as it surprises me, perhaps I would like to recommend a very good book. One that I own and totally believe is the “best” book on the subject that I have ever seen. The name of the book is:
“Principles of Plasma Physics for Engineers and Scientists” by Umran S. Inan (Stanford University) and Marek Golkowski (University of Colorado, Denver), Cambridge Press, (2011), 284 pages, ISBN: 978-0-521-19372-6.
Yes, this book is quite expensive, and probably not for the average Joe curious about such things, the book I have here is a bound work and is $100. Still, it’s worth it. The book describes the motions of individual particles, the kinetic theory of plasmas, the theory of multiple fluids, plasma collisions and conductivity, the introduction of waves in plasma, and plasma diffusion, among many other things. magnetization and temperature in plasma.
The appendix is excellent and for that alone it is worth the price as a solid reference to have on hand. If someone was teaching a class on plasma physics, this might be the best textbook out there, not to mention a perfect reference book to have on hand, which is what I use it for. In fact, if you’re an engineer, scientist, graduate student, researcher, or want to be, you need this book too. Please consider all this and think about it.