Plasma physics articles from across Nature Portfolio

Plasma physics is the study of a state of matter comprising charged particles. Plasmas are usually created by heating a gas until the electrons become detached from their parent atom or molecule. This so-called ionization can also be achieved using high-power laser light or microwaves. Plasmas are found naturally in stars and in space.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News & Views |

    Tides not only affect ocean dynamics but also influence the Earth’s magnetosphere. Satellite observations have now revealed evidence of tidal effects in the Earth’s plasmasphere correlated with Moon phases.

    • Balázs Heilig
  • News & Views |

    Particles in space can be accelerated to high energy, the distribution of which follows a power law. This has now been reproduced in laboratory experiments mimicking astrophysical scenarios, which helps to understand the underlying mechanisms.

    • Giovanni Lapenta
    Nature Physics 19, 159-160
  • News & Views |

    In a burning plasma, fusion-born α particles are the dominant source of heating. In such conditions, the deuterium and tritium ion energy distribution deviates from the expected thermal Maxwellian distribution.

    • Stefano Atzeni
    Nature Physics 19, 10-11