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This segment of a tutorial about plasma--the main state of matter in space--deals with what plasma is and how it is formed. Background information on electric and magnetic fields is also included because plasmas interact with these fields. Enlargeable graphics and an interactive game about the four states of matter complement the segment's four pages of text. In the game, students direct falling objects, such as rocks, lightning, and gasoline, into the appropriate state-of-matter slot. The segment also explains why plasma is so rare on Earth and so abundant in space. A concluding vignette explores Hannes Alfven's ongoing influence on space physics. Alfven was a twentieth-century Nobel laureate. Copyright 2005 Eisenhower National Clearinghouse
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