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Histories of science in the 20th century have focused on relativity and quantum mechanics. But, quietly in the background, there has been a third area of exploration which has equally important implications for our understanding of the universe. It is unknown to the general public despite the fact that many Nobel prize winners, senior academics and major research centres around the world have been devoted to it – it is the study of plasma

Plasma is the fourth state of matter and the other three – gas, liquid and solids – emerge out of plasma. This book will reveal how over 99% of the universe is made of plasma and how there are two gigantic clouds of plasma, called the Kordylewski Clouds, hovering between the Earth and the Moon, only recently discovered by astronomers in Hungary. Other revelations not previously known outside narrow academic disciplines include the evidence that in certain circumstances plasma exhibits features that suggest they may be in some sense alive: clouds of plasma have evolved double helixes, banks of cells and crystals, filaments and junctions which could control the flow of electric currents, thus generating an intelligence similar to machine intelligence. We may, in fact, have been looking for signs of extra-terrestrial life in the wrong place.

Bestselling author Robert Temple has been following the study of plasma for decades and has worked with several of the senior scientists – including Nobel laureates – at its forefront, including Paul Dirac, David Bohm, Peter Mitchell and Chandra Wickramasinghe (who has co-written an academic paper with Temple).