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  • Plasma Physics Topic of APS Meeting
Nov 2004
COLLEGE PARK, Md., Nov. 5 -- Compact particle beams, plasma windows, plasma fusion machines and x-ray vision will be among topics discussed at the 46th annual meeting of the American Physical Society (APS) Division of Plasma Physics, to be held Nov. 15-19 at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center, Savannah, Ga.

"Most of the matter we are familiar with in everyday life comes in three states: solid, liquid, or gas. But much more of the matter in the universe exists in a fourth state, known as plasma," the APS said. "Plasmas are gaseous collections of electrically charged particles such as electrons and protons. Stars are primarily composed of hot plasmas. On Earth, plasmas are formed in lightning strikes and produce light in fluorescent bulbs. They are used to inscribe patterns in computer chips and other electronics, and are at the heart of the most promising nuclear fusion devices that may someday lead to an abundance of cheap, clean and safe power sources."

In conjunction with the annual meeting, the Plasma Sciences Expo will be held Nov. 18, Nov. 18 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the convention center. The free program aims to introduce the local community to the excitement of plasmas and the benefits of plasma research Scientists from around the world will engage participants in lively hands-on demonstrations and explorations, such as creating arcs of lightning, observing fluctuating body temperatures on a special monitor, manipulating a glowing plasma with magnets, watching an electromagnetic wave demonstration and confining a plasma in a tokamak video game. Students at all levels, teachers, parents and the general public are invited.

The APS said more than 1500 attendees are expected at the annual meeting, where 1425 papers will be presented on the latest advances in plasma-based research and technology. The scientific program will consist of nine half-day sessions of review, invited, tutorial and contributed papers covering basic plasma physics; beams and coherent radiation; inertial confinement and high-energy density plasmas; magnetic confinement; simulation; plasma technology; space and astrophysical plasma; and education, outreach and undergraduate research.

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plasma physics
The study of highly ionized gases. Many phenomena not exhibited by uncharged gases are associated with plasma physics.
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