These waves play an important role in precipitation of killer electrons (electrons having speed close to speed of light, which form the radiation belt of planet Earth), which are hazardous to space-borne technology/instruments.
Plasma waves are a type of electromagnetic wave that propagates through plasma, which is a state of matter.
Plasma is formed when a gas is heated to high temperatures or subjected to strong electric fields, causing its atoms to become ionised, meaning they lose or gain electrons and become charged particles.
More than 99% of the matter in the visible universe consists of plasma.
Our Sun, solar wind, the interplanetary medium, near-Earth region, magnetosphere, and the upper part of our atmosphere all consist of plasma.
Plasma waves have significant applications in various fields, including astrophysics, space science, plasma physics, and communication technology.
For example: they are involved in the generation of auroras
The study of plasma waves also provides us with information on regions inaccessible to us, transport mass and energy across different regions, how they interact with charged particles and control the overall dynamics of the Earth’s magnetosphere.
What are the Other States of Matter?
States of matter are the different physical forms that matter can exist in, based on their unique properties such as shape, volume, and particle arrangement.
The three most commonly known states of matter are solid, liquid, and gas.
Additionally, there are two less common states of matter known as plasma and Bose-Einstein condensate.
Bose-Einstein Condensate: It is a state of matter that occurs at very low temperatures, close to absolute zero. It was first predicted by Albert Einstein and Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose in the 1920s.
UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)
Q. Discuss the work of ‘Bose-Einstein Statistics’ done by Prof. Satyendra Nath Bose and show how it revolutionised the field of Physics. (2018)