Plasma is a unique state of matter in the sense that it is cannot be categorized under the three main states of matter; Solids, Liquids or Gas. Plasma is primarily derived from partially ionized gases; that is a certain portion of the negatively charged electrons are not bound to the nucleus; rather they are free to wander about. This makes it an excellent receptor to electric currents. Plasma is actually very commonly found in space; it can take many shapes but it mostly appears as a gaseous cloud like substance, much like a star. In a sense Plasma is just a form of super heated gas.
Interestingly enough, Plasma is by far the most commonly found state of matter in the universe, as it accounts for about 99% of the visible universe. Plasma can range in temperature from being relatively cool and stable, like auroras to being extremely hot and volatile like at the center of stars. In fact, Plasma can get extremely hot: as much as 5,000,000,000F at the center of stars that are under going fusion reactions. This extreme temperature starts rippng apart the electromagnetic bonds holding the atom together and a new state of matter is thus created. The only effective and safe way to contain plasma of this nature is using magnetic confinement as these currents are able to shape and guide the plasma.
At present, the study of Plasma and its further uses is a hot topic. For instance, due to its high conductivity of electrical current, it is being viewed as a possible source for meeting the electrical demands.
In Video Games
Plasma plays a very important role in the world of video games, especially in the Halo series.
Here, the Covenant, who serve as the main antagonist are armed with plasma based weapons. The
core principle there is that the Plasma is stored in the ammo chamber and when the trigger is squeezed a blob of plasma is ejected. This technology is further improved upon on the Covenant space war ships because they are able to carry on them magnetic field generators. During the events of the Halo novel; First strike when Cortana and the Chief board an Covenant capital ship, more information is revealed about how the covenant use their plasma technology aboard their vessels. Cortana remarks that their methods to store the plasma is very primitive and rely more on brute force than intelligent design. However, there is no denying its effectiveness in combat. Since Plasma is so receptive to external electromagnetic stimuli, a thin layer of magnetic "coating" is projected on the plasma, this way the Plasma can be directed upon an target and the Shape and the size of the projectiles can be varied depending on the need. Also, the Magnetic fields full fill a secondary objective, in that they keep the super hot plasma from dissipating into space.
Due to the fact that plasma is extremely hot, it can be used to melt literally any object including the Titanium-A plated hulls of cruisers
. On a smaller scale; in a hand held weapons like the plasma rifle great care has to be taken to ensure that the weapon does not overheat. If it does, the device will have to cool down before it can be used. Due to the fact that plasma is excellent at interfering with electric fields, they are also very effective against shielded targets, like the personal shields of the MJOLNIR suit