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New state of matter seen on cheap

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View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H4 11/27/11

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Image from a quicklink With the lights off, what's seen is a trail of blue sparks - the sonoluminescence... "Not only is it creating a plasma," Professor Putterman explains, "we believe it's an new state of matter because it's an extremely dense plasma - the density is hundreds to ten thousand times the density they achieve inside nuclear fusion experiments." According to Professor Putterman's experiments, the plasma goes through a phase transition - analogous the melting of ice to water. Which is why he feels justified in describing the plasma as an entirely new state. Professor Sella, meanwhile, is delighted that his simple demonstration should reveal to onlookers a state of matter that has only just been discovered. "I can't wait to tell my nuclear physicist friends, that for a cost of around £10, I'm up in the region that they do for the cost of hundreds of millions of pounds. It's very exciting."

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