Plasma

Plasma is a state of matter. To be more exact, plasma is an ionized gaseous state, which is commonly seen in an electrical arc. Plasma is the main energy medium used to channel power to systems via EPS conduits in almost all starships. A plasma relay technician is responsible for rerouting plasma to systems they are not currently allocated to. (VOY: "Good Shepherd")

In physics, studies of plasma include plasma dynamics and plasma physics. (TNG: "Peak Performance", "True Q") Individuals who specialize in these fields, and more, include plasma specialists and EPS control specialists. (TNG: "The Game"; ENT: "The Forgotten"Plasma (from Greek πλάσμα, "anything formed"[1]) is one of the four fundamental states of matter (the others being solid, liquid, and gas). Heating a gas may ionize its molecules or atoms (reducing or increasing the number of electrons in them), thus turning it into a plasma, which contains charged particles: positive ions and negative electrons or ions.[2] Ionization can be induced by other means, such as strong electromagnetic field applied with a laser or microwave generator, and is accompanied by the dissociation of molecular bonds, if present.[3]

The presence of a non-negligible number of charge carriers makes the plasma electrically conductive so that it responds strongly to electromagnetic fields. Plasma, therefore, has properties quite unlike those of solids, liquids, or gases and is considered a distinct state of matter. Like gas, plasma does not have a definite shape or a definite volume unless enclosed in a container; unlike gas, under the influence of a magnetic field, it may form structures such as filaments, beams and double layers. Some common plasmas are found in stars and neon signs. In the universe, plasma is the most common state of matter for ordinary matter, most of which is in the rarefied intergalactic plasma (particularly intracluster medium) and in stars. Much of the understanding of plasmas has come from the pursuit of controlled nuclear fusion and fusion power, for which plasma physics provides the scientific basis.

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