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Astrophysics/Earth's Plasma


QUESTION: What happens if the earth's plasma starts boiling?

ANSWER: That can't happen and won't.  At those pressures, liquids and gases are the same thing, a general term used for it is a fluid.  And what would heat it, anyhow?

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: What would happen if the earth's plasma was boiling?  Hypothesize.

I see I also misread your question to say magma and not plasma.  Plasma doesn't exist on the Earth, though there is some ionized gas in the Van Allen belts.  In any case, plasma does not boil.  You can heat it up, but it can't boil.  So nothing.  If you excite the Earth's radiation belts, where a lot of ionized gas associated (by a lot, I still mean almost nothing compared to the mass of the Earth), you get auroras and occasional interference with the power grid during a strong magnetic disturbance.

But plasma doesn't exist in the atmosphere or below in natural environments, and it doesn't boil.


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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson


Fusion, solar flares, cosmic rays, radiation in space, and stellar physics questions. Generally, nuclear-related astrophysics, but I can usually point you in the right direction if it's not nuclear-related or if it's nuclear but not astrophysics.


Just moved from being a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin into government work. Doctoral dissertation was on a reaction in CNO-cycle fusion, worked in gamma-ray astronomy in the space science division of the naval research laboratory in the high-energy space environment branch.

Government work as a physical scientist with a nuclear focus.

Ph.D. in physics, research was on nuclear fusion reactions important in stellar fusion, further work on space telescope technology.

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