A2.5 Inductively Coupled Plasma Detection

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Lightning is an example of plasma present at the Earth's surface – the temperature approaches over 20,000 K.
Plasma is the most abundant form of matter in the universe because most stars are in a plasma state.
Plasma can be generated by heating a gas to an extremely high temperature which causes its atoms or molecules to either fully or partially ionise by losing electrons.
Since it contains free moving charged particles, plasma is electrically conductive.
Plasma is used in specific techniques to identify and quantify very small (concentrations of parts per billion (
mg dm-3\textsf{mg dm}^\textsf{-3}
or
g cm-3\textsf{g cm}^\textsf{-3}
) quantities of atoms or ions in a sample.
Figure 2.2 Lightning
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