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Published on Nov 24, 2007
There are three classic states of matter: solid, liquid, and gas; however, plasma is considered by some scientists to be the fourth state of matter because of its unique properties. Ionized refers to presence of one or more free electrons, which are not bound to an atom or molecule. The free electric charges make the plasma electrically conductive so that it responds strongly to electromagnetic fields.
Plasma typically takes the form of neutral gas-like clouds (e.g. stars) or charged ion beams, but may also include dust and grains (called dusty plasmas). They are typically formed by heating and ionizing a gas, stripping electrons away from atoms, thereby enabling the positive and negative charges to move more freely. The Radio Instrument Building Research Institute under the supervision of Academician A. Avramenko developed a plasma weapon capable of killing any target at altitudes of up to 50 kilometers. Engineers and scientists of the institute in cooperation with the National Research Institute of Experimental Physics (Arzamas-16), Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute, and Central Machine Building Research Institute prepared a concept of the international experiment Doverie (Trust) for testing of the Russian plasma weapon at the American ABM testing ground in the Pacific Ocean together with the US. The cost of the experiment was estimated at $300 million. According to Academician Avramenko, the plasma antimissile weapon would not only cost tens times less than the American SDI, but would also be much simpler in development and operation. The offered joint project could save expenditures on development of its own plasma weapon for the US. The plasmoid based on the energy of ground super-high frequency generators or laser (optical) generators creates an ionized territory in the trajectory of a warhead and in front of it, and completely disrupts the aerodynamics of the object's flight, after which a target leaves its trajectory and is ruined by monstrous overloads. The killing effect is delivered to the target at the speed of light