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This question might involve too much current for an electronic engineering board, but it involves electricity, so  I'll ask it anyway.

YouTube videos of the railgun https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZL4kbBIf39s    show a curious phenomenon; billowing clouds of what appear to be flame emerging from the barrel. Those are understandable from conventional cannon, because there is combustion continuing after the projectile leaves the tube, but railguns don't use combustion.

What's going on? They're far too fractal to be supersonic shock waves. Are they plasma,  glowing atmosphric gases that have been heated by compression in front of the projectile, or something else?

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As data rates begin to move beyond 25 Gbps channels, new problems arise. Getting to 50 Gbps channels might not be possible with the traditional NRZ (2-level) signaling. PAM4 lets data rates double with only a small increase in channel bandwidth by sending two bits per symbol. But, it brings new measurement and analysis problems. Signal integrity sage Ransom Stephens will explain how PAM4 differs from NRZ and what to expect in design, measurement, and signal analysis.

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