All pictures are taken from open sources and belong to their authors
There is an opinion that in addition to carbon-based one, there
are other forms of life on the Earth, and even of an intelligent life. Energy
entities – “plasmoids”, the discovery of which was predicted by such titans
as Tsiolkovsky and Tesla – are often found in photographs and have long been
the subject of study. There is, however, another opinion, that even a photocamera
requires some skills to use it, and if you have them, then no “plasmoids” will
spoil the picture. These are very interesting opinions, but science does not
share any of them.
To begin with, let’s talk about the meaning of the words: “field”, “energy”, “plasma”. A field is a stream of particles, quanta, assuming the mandatory presence of a permanent source. That is, an independent entity cannot have a field nature by definition. Energy is even easier. This is a quality that a material object with mass can possess (to a greater or lesser extent). Thus, the phrase “energy entity” does not make sense either. Plasma is another matter. At least, it may well exist on its own.
Looking in the reference book, you can find out that plasma is an ionized gas. There are other (and quite different) definitions and understandings of plasma, but they are not relevant to this case. For a plasmoid is always represented as something luminous. This means that the substance of which it consists is ionized.
And then you need to ask the right question. Why does a usual gas represent one physical form of matter, and an ionized gas is another? Plasma is a gas in which atoms or molecules have an incomplete set of electrons as a result of heating a substance to a high temperature. This means that plasma particles have an electric charge. An electrostatic repulsive force arises between them, and in addition, the plasma conducts an electric current well. As a consequence, the physical properties of plasma and its behavior differ significantly from the properties and behavior of gas.
By the way, on the properties. Due to the electrostatic repulsion,
as well as the high temperature itself (the average kinetic energy of the particles),
plasma tends to dissipate much more actively than gas, occupying the entire
available volume. Then it disappears. Wasting energy or colliding with an obstacle,
the ions recombine – neutralize – by capturing the missing electrons. That is,
plasma, even compared to gas, is an extremely unstable and disorganized form
of the existence of matter. On the other hand, the motion of charged particles
running from each other is an electric current. And the current generates magnetic
fields that order and guide the flows in the plasma cloud.
And here it is interesting: theoretically (and even in practice in laboratory conditions) plasma is really capable of self-organizing into stable “bubbles” held together by its own generated magnetic field, in which ions run along circular orbits. And it is particularly a self-organizing. Such formation does not need an external source of energy for existence, and even for “reproduction” via gemmulation.
Is it cool? Here it is – the plasma entity as it is, quite approved by science. Like, in fact, plasmoids are – sphericall, elliptical or disc-shaped ionization zones, sometimes observed in places, where gases leak into the atmosphere through faults in the earth’s crust. They are observable not by eye, though. The glow of plasmoids in the optical band is too dim to be noticed even in total darkness. But if the sensitivity of the film is shifted to the infrared or ultraviolet band, plasmoids will be visible.
Where’s the sticking point? It is in the above property of a real plasmoid. It has no external power source and no internal one also. But it’s shining. That is, it consumes energy. Ionized particles are slowed down in collisions with air molecules, current flows weaken, and the plasmoid dissipates quickly – in seconds. Theoretically – this is just not confirmed and not even justified by calculations (and the reality of the phenomenon itself is far from being indisputable) – a ball lightning can be a plasmoid with a very high initial energy, transmitted in an unclear way by a thunderstorm discharge. According to legends – and there is no other information about ball lightning, except for the reports of unprepared eyewitnesses – the “superplasmoid” can hold on up to a minute.
By the way, on plasma life, and moreover, on plasma intelligence.
Ionization of a substance destroys complex molecules, and the mutual arrangement
of ions in a plasmoid cannot be constant. That is, structures capable of becoming
carriers of hereditary or any other information in plasma formation are obviously
absent. The plasmoid is changing, moving, wriggling streams – that is, behaves
somehow (and sometimes paradoxically, due to the conflict of electrical and
aerodynamic forces). It looks like “life”, but it is “life” in the same degree,
as the flickering of a candle flame – which, by the way, is also a plasma formation,
but just more stable due to the influx of energy.
...Can plasmoids form in the solar atmosphere, for example? It is likely that yes, they can. And there they will be no match for the Earth’s ones in their energy and scale. But even in the Sun, the plasmoid will not be able to extract energy from the external environment, maintaining its own existence. The plasma structure simply lacks a mechanism for this. Particles moving in closed orbits are, by definition, faster and “hotter” than those not involved in the plasmoid, which means that energy will dissipate when in contact with the environment. And even a hypothetical formation, so incandescent that thermonuclear reactions could start inside it (this can only work in a vacuum, where there is no medium preventing the movement of particles), will go out as soon as the fuel is used up.
Translated by Pavel Volkov, 2021
The original Russian article is here