Why Teach Plasma Physics?

Why Teach Plasma Physics?

Physics is crucial to understanding the world around us, solving critical problems, and advancing 21st-century technologies.  Discover more about how physics skills can lead to diverse and rewarding careers from APS: Becoming a Physicist

Plasma science, the investigation of ionized gases and their interactions with materials, is a remarkably far-reaching discipline that is solving problems in space physics and astrophysics, materials science and engineering, atomic, molecular and optical physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, and even agriculture.

Plasma physics studies are making exciting advances in fusion energy research, which may be the key for humanity to produce abundant, safe, carbon-free electricity. Plasma research is leading to profound new insights on the inner workings of the Sun and other stars, and fascinating astrophysical objects such as black holes and neutron stars. The study of plasma is enabling prediction of space weather, medical treatments, and even water purification.

Read more at: What Is Plasma & Why Does It Matter?

Watch Fusion Energy Explained narrated by Arturo Dominguez, Ph.D. from Princeton Plasma Physics Lab (PPPL).

How Do Plasmas Fit Into my Science Curriculum?

APS-DPP activities support content in the following areas:

  • properties of heat, light, and sound
  • properties of waves
  • the structure of matter
  • electric and magnetic field interactions with plasma
  • the nature of changes in matter
  • energy, force, and motion
  • how matter becomes energy during nuclear reactions
  • the electromagnetic spectrum
  • fusion processes in stars and the laboratory

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