Caltech researchers create plasma rings in open air

The breakthrough by Caltech engineers allowed plasma to take on a clearly defined shape without the use of typical constraint methods, which could pave the way for better energy storage.

Whether inside a fluorescent light bulb or in the remarkable St. Elmo’s fire weather phenomenon, the shape of plasmas depend on the surrounding environment.Lightning follows the path of least resistance, while man-made plasmas are confined within chambers or electromagnetic fields – but now, for the first time, engineers have created a stable ring of plasma in open air.The breakthrough allowed the plasma to take on a clearly defined shape without the use of typical constraint methods, and sci...