Microplasma means big money for Saint Peter’s College
Jersey City, N.J. – Microplasma is turning into macro money for Saint Peter’s College in Jersey City.
The Jesuit college has been awarded a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to create the Center for Microplasma Science and Technology.
Found in stars and lightning, plasma is small discharges of ionized gas and is considered a fourth form of matter. Microplasma is artificial plasma created at smaller scales and is used in everyday products such as plasma television sets and high-efficiency lightbulbs.
The center will be the first of its kind in the nation, said Jose Lopez, Assistant Professor of Physics at the College. “We’re very happy because we see opportunities for the city, our students, for everybody in the area,” Lopez added. New Jersey Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez and Reps. Steve Rothman and Albio Sires secured the $2 million grant from this year’s Defense Appropriations bill, officials said this week. Professors had written the congressmen last December asking for funds for the project, said Marylou Yam, the college’s vice president of academic affairs. The college is deciding where to house the Center, she said.
Saint Peter’s College has been studying microplasma for years as part of its research on water purifiers, said Lopez.
The College has a relationship with United Water, the company that supplies water to Jersey City and Hoboken, he said. United Water currently uses ozone microplasma to scrub pollutants from the water, he said.
The field of microplasma is less than 20 years old, Lopez added. While researchers are excited by its potential, the science is not fully understood, he said.
The Jersey Journal article link – http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2008/12/microplasma_means_big_money_fo.html