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A plasma lamp, illustrating some of the more complex phenomena of a plasma, including filamentation. The colors are a result of the relaxation of electrons in excited states to lower energy states after they have recombined with ions. These processes emit light in a spectrum characteristic of the gas being excited.

Plasma is a state of matter(akin to solid, liquid and gas) where the matter has become ionized, or the electrons stripped from the atoms. Therefore, a plasma consists of both negatively charged electrons, and positively charged ions.

Like a gas, in a plasma the consituents are not physically constrained in position by each other, and will expand to fill the available space.