The Plasma Universe

The Plasma Universe

3.4 (5 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Electronic book text
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Description

Plasma physics is the fascinating science behind lightning bolts, fluorescent lights, solar flares, ultra-bright TV screens, fusion reactors, cosmic jets and black hole radiation, to name but a few examples. Research into this could lead to a source of unlimited, non-polluting energy. Yet plasmas obey their own, often very surprising, rules, and repeatedly defy our best efforts to anticipate and control them. This richly illustrated, full color book reveals for the first time the exciting world of plasma physics to a non-technical audience. It describes the phenomena, and follows the worldwide research effort to comprehend them, taking the reader on a journey from neighborhood neon lights to the remotest galaxies and beyond. The lively writing is interspersed with fascinating photographs and explanatory diagrams, giving the readers a deeper understanding of the world around them.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 72 b/w illus.
  • 1139632469
  • 9781139632461

Table of contents

Preface; 1. The fourth state of matter; 2. The music and dance of plasmas; 3. The Sun-Earth connection; 4. Bringing the Sun to Earth: the story of controlled thermonuclear fusion; 5. The cosmic plasma theater: galaxies, stars, and accretion disks; 6. Putting plasmas to work; Index.show more

Review quote

'In The Plasma Universe Curt Suplee explains in an entertaining way and in educated layman's terms what constitutes plasmas, their complex behavior, the history of plasma science right up to the use of plasmas in modern day and future technologies. In these pages is a concise summary of our current understanding of strange and beautiful phenomena on earth and in stars and galaxies around us. The American Physical Society celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of its Division of Plasma Physics in 2008, and the Division has outdone itself in sponsoring and editing this book, which I recommend for anyone who likes to look at beautiful pictures and who might be interested in the history of science and the process of discovery and innovation.' Cherry Murray, Dean, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and President, American Physical Society 'The Plasma Universe is a lively, compact, beautifully illustrated and eminently readable exposition of the amazing scope of modern plasma physics. The common phenomena underlying plasma TVs, sunspots and the violent death of stars are lucidly explained at level suitable for a broad audience. I particularly liked the onepage profiles of the scientists who shaped the subject, starting with Irving Langmuir, that are sprinkled throughout the text: they provide welcome historical context and human interest.' Curtis Callan, Professor of Physics, Princeton University, and President-Elect, American Physical Societyshow more

About Curt Suplee

Curt Suplee is a renowned science writer. He was a writer and editor at The Washington Post, where he was twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He has won the Science Journalism Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society's Grady-Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry to the Public, and two national prizes from the American Astronomical Society.show more

Rating details

5 ratings
3.4 out of 5 stars
5 0% (0)
4 60% (3)
3 20% (1)
2 20% (1)
1 0% (0)
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