You are on page 1of 4

Plasma parameters

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search

The complex self-constricting magnetic field lines and current paths in a Birkeland current that may develop in a plasma (Evolution of the Solar System, 1976) Plasma parameters define various characteristics of a plasma, an electrically conductive collection of charged particles that responds collectively to electromagnetic forces. Plasma typically takes the form of neutral gas-like clouds or charged ion beams, but may also include dust and grains. [1] The behaviour of such particle systems can be studied statistically. [2]

Contents

• • •

1 Fundamental plasma parameters o 1.1 Frequencies o 1.2 Lengths o 1.3 Velocities o 1.4 Dimensionless 2 See also 3 References 4 Footnotes

Fundamental plasma parameters

Z is charge state. the radius of the circular motion of an ion in the plane perpendicular to the magnetic field: plasma skin depth. the frequency with which electrons oscillate (plasma oscillation): ion plasma frequency: electron trapping rate: ion trapping rate: electron collision rate: ion collision rate: • • • • • • • Lengths • Electron thermal de Broglie wavelength. the radius of the circular motion of an electron in the plane perpendicular to the magnetic field: ion gyroradius. ln Λ is the Coulomb logarithm. ignoring quantum-mechanical effects: electron gyroradius. the angular frequency of the circular motion of an electron in the plane perpendicular to the magnetic field: ion gyrofrequency. approximate average de Broglie wavelength of electrons in a plasma: • classical distance of closest approach. the closest that two particles with the elementary charge come to each other if they approach head-on and each have a velocity typical of the temperature. K is wavenumber.All quantities are in Gaussian (cgs) units except temperature expressed in eV and ion mass expressed in units of the proton mass . the angular frequency of the circular motion of an ion in the plane perpendicular to the magnetic field: electron plasma frequency. γ is the adiabatic index. the depth in a plasma to which electromagnetic radiation can penetrate: • • • . Frequencies • electron gyrofrequency. k is Boltzmann's constant.

the scale over which electric fields are screened out by a redistribution of the electrons: Ion inertial length.• Debye length. The Farnsworth-Hirsch Fusor during operation in so called "star mode" characterized by "rays" of glowing plasma which appear to emanate from the gaps in the inner grid. the scale at which ions decouple from electrons and the magnetic field becomes frozen into the electron fluid rather than the bulk plasma: • Velocities • electron thermal velocity. typical velocity of an ion in a Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution: ion sound velocity. typical velocity of an electron in a Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution: ion thermal velocity. • square root of electron/proton mass ratio • • • • number of particles in a Debye sphere Alfvén velocity/speed of light electron plasma/gyrofrequency ratio ion plasma/gyrofrequency ratio . the speed of the longitudinal waves resulting from the mass of the ions and the pressure of the electrons: Alfvén velocity. the speed of the waves resulting from the mass of the ions and the restoring force of the magnetic field: • • • Dimensionless A 'sun in a test tube'.

28 and p. 2.. Anthony. ^ Parks.• • thermal/magnetic pressure ratio ("beta") magnetic/ion rest energy ratio See also • • List of plasma (physics) articles NRL Plasma Formulary (esp. ^ Peratt. 29). p. Physics of Space Plasmas (2004. J. George K. Huba.D. Naval Research Laboratory (2007) References Footnotes 1.) . Physics of the Plasma Universe (1992). 2nd Ed.