What Are Examples of the Plasma State of Matter?

Examples of plasma include solar wind, lightning, the gases in neon signs, welding arcs, interstellar gas clouds and the tails of comets. Plasma is the most common state of matter in the universe. A plasma occurs when a gas is extremely heated or subjected to a strong magnetic field.

The process that causes gases to become plasmas, ionization, works by either increasing or decreasing the number of ions present within the gas. As a result, the gas becomes net positively charged or net negatively charged and subsequently has a significant number of charge carriers. Plasma therefore is extremely electrically conductive. Under the influence of a magnetic field, plasma can form structures. This is a notable difference from the element’s gaseous state.