Novel plasma jet offshoot phenomenon explains blue atmospheric jets (Vol. 48 No. 2)

Example of the apokamp effect in a plasma jet

Russian physicists identify mysterious right-angle side-jet occurring off the plasma arc in air at ambient pressure conditions

Ionised matter, like plasma, still holds secrets. Physicists working with plasma jets, made of a stream of ionised matter, have just discovered a new phenomenon. Indeed, the authors found a new type of discharge phenomenon in an atmospheric pressure plasma. It has been dubbed apokamp—from the Greek words for ‘off’ and ‘bend’, because it appears at a perpendicular angle to where plasma jets bend. Their findings have been recently published and are particularly relevant for the development of novel applications in medicine, health care and materials processing because they involve air at normal atmospheric pressure, which would make it cheaper than applications in inert gases or nitrogen. This phenomenon can help explain the blue jet phenomenon identified in 1994 in the upper atmosphere, where strange upwards-facing jets develop from thunderstorm clouds.

E. А. Sosnin, V. А. Panarin, V. S. Skakun , E. Kh. Baksht and V. F. Tarasenko, Dynamics of apokamp-type atmospheric pressure plasma jets, Eur. Phys. J. D 71, 25 (2017)