Volume 86 Issue 48 | p. 51 | Concentrates
Issue Date: December 1, 2008

Molecular Plasmas Created

Ultracold plasmas made of molecules could explain how stars make metals from gasses
Department: Science & Technology

A method for making ultracold plasmas out of molecules has been developed by a group led by Edward R. Grant, a chemistry professor at the University of British Columbia, in Canada (Phys. Rev. Lett. 2008, 101, 205005). Previously, such plasmas could only be made from atoms in group 1 or 2. The molecular plasmas are created by cooling a jet of gaseous material to 1 K and then ionizing it with a laser. Although . . .

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