Eli5 Does plasma in blood have any relation to plasma as a state of matter?


I know they aren’t the same thing, but are there any properties or something that connect them?

In: 7

No, they are completely different things.

Plasma (state of matter) is ionized gas where plasma (blood) is liquid matrix of the blood. The only thing that connects them is their name.

The root word of plasma has a meaning that covers being moldable, a mold, or framework. For instance, cytoplasm is the liquid in a cell which everything in the cell floats in, and plastic means something you can mold. Blood plasma is thus the “stuff” that the rest of the blood floats in.

Physics plasma was named so because a guy named Langmuir wrote a paper on it, and he was reminded of blood plasma when looking at it. He saw in ionized gas “the way blood plasma carries red and white corpuscles and germs.”

The state of matter plasma was named after the blood plasma because the people who discovered it thought that it carried particles similar to how blood plasma carries blood cells:


Plasma is the fluid that carries blood cells, it’s filled with proteins, some fats, and a lot of ions. Apparently Irvin Langmuir, a physicist, was reminded of that when studying ionized gases, as they’re also a fluid with ions. So while they’re not physically related really, they have some parallelism which earned ionized gas the same name.

Source: https://farside.ph.utexas.edu/teaching/plasma/Plasma/node3.html#:~:text=When%20blood%20is%20cleared%20of,Purkinje%20(1787%2D1869).