Theory, experiments and calculations related the physics of plasmas, i.e., matter constituted by ionized atoms.

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Calculating the magnetic permeability of a known plasma

I have a plasma, of which I know the composition, temperature, exact electron/ion/particle densities. How can I then calculate a theoretical permeability of the plasma. Is this even possible? I ...
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1answer
160 views

Does plasma has any chemical formula?

As far as I understand, plasma is another stage of matter like solid, liquid or gas. All of these have chemical formulas, however does plasma has chemical formula as well? If it doesn't, what's made ...
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74 views

Fermi velocity $v_F$ and speed of light

Can Fermi velocity $v_F$ be equal to speed of light, $c$, for ultra-relativistic electron plasma waves, in plasma physics, by using Fermi-Dirac distribution function?
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32 views

Woltjer's Theorem, partial or total derivative?

Morning everyone.. I am currently studying Plasma Physics on a recent book named "Basics of Plasma Astrophysics" by Claudio Chiuderi and Marco Velli. While demonstrating Woltjer's Theorem they state ...
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55 views

$E \times B$ drift plasma physics

Do you need to have an electric field in order to have an $\mathbf E \times \mathbf B$ drift? I'm confused because it's seems that there is an induced E-field from the charge separation due to forces ...
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2answers
108 views

Harvesting hydrogen from a star

I've been thinking about what highly technologically advanced civilisations would do once their energy requirements become comparable to the total output of a star, and how such activity could be ...
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1answer
41 views

Dense plasma focus properties

Any Dense plasma focus scientists here? Could you explain the effects of having the anode: with less number of rods? hollow/non-hollow?
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122 views

Why does a non-contact voltage detector light up when you touch a plasma ball with the other hand?

I am doing a science experiment and we decided to try holding a non-contact voltage detector up to plasma ball. We were surprised that it would light up when it was 3 ft away from the plasma ball. I ...
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2answers
240 views

Particle-in-cell (PIC) code Virtual Laser Plasma Lab (VLPL)

I am writing a simulation code to model betatron X rays produced by electrons accelerated using laser wakefield acceleration (LWFA). I have heard about 3D PIC (Particle-in-Cell) code VLPL (Virtual ...
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95 views

Plasma frequency

I have a neutral plasma and I need to solve Maxwell equations given the charge and current densities on the plasma. In order to do it I need to know the electrical permittivity $\varepsilon$, I've ...
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1answer
85 views

Inert Gases in Plasma Balls

Recently I have been reading about the fourth state of matter, viz.Plasma. Everywhere I read that plasma is formed when Gases are given enough energy and they lose their electrons to form a "cloud" of ...
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1answer
83 views

What are non-Abelian plasmas?

I know what a non-Abelian group is: a group whose operation does not obey commutativity. Does this have anything to do with a non-Abelian plasma? I'm not really looking at a specific paper, but I'll ...
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110 views

Electrostatic ion thruster neutralizers

All electrostatic Ion thrusters have a neutralizer electron beam, but why are they required? Is avoiding the accumulation of negative charge the only reason? I would've thought that the main reason ...
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153 views

Integrating Factor Solution for Plasma Wave Equation

As part of a derivation in Bernstein '58 [1] a linear first-order (eqn. (9) in the image) appears: But the general solution I would usually take (as appears in Gradshteyn and Ryzhik and checked in ...
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179 views

Kittel solid state physics handbook - Plasma oscillation of a ball - Am I solving this right?

I'm self learning nanotechnology undergraduate and I'm trying to solve a problem from chapter "plasmons, polaritons and polarons". This is it: Frequency of uniform mode of plasmons in a ball is ...
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1answer
51 views

Why is there not much research into nuclear physics with plasmas?

There is a lot of research and theory around fusion reactions with plasma, but is there a reason why plasmas cannot be used for researching other nuclear reactions, either in the lab or from ...
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1answer
110 views

What does a sample of the Sun look like? Does it look like fire or gas?

Suppose that in the future a highly resistant spacecraft went to the Sun and collected three samples of the Sun: one from its surface, one from its core, and one midway. The three samples were put ...
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1answer
43 views

spectrum of discharge of air

Where do the various colors in electrical discharge of air with a high voltage originate from? Are these transitions in ionized nitrogen gas or unionized gas? Are chemical reactions involved? I assume ...
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100 views

Magnetic fields in plasma at equilibrium

I'm wondering if it is possible to have a plasma reach an equilibrium state where no more entropy is produced but it still has frozen-in magnetic field lines. The problem is the field lines have a ...
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37 views

Calculate the potential induced by beam

This exercise is from Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy by Freidberg. A cylindrical conducting vacuum chamber of radius $r=a$ is filled with a uniform plasma of density $n_0$ and temperature ...
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93 views

polarization of a transverse wave travelling in ionosphere with polarization direction perpendicular to earths magnetic field

Assume a transverse electromagnetic wave entering ionosphere such that its Electric field of wave is perpendicular to earths magnetic field. Now, i read that as it will enter plasma, the wave will ...
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1answer
126 views

Radio wave propagation in ionosphere

Radio communication is based on the concept that a radio signal incident on the ionosphere is reflected if the frequency of the wave matches the plasma frequency. But what exactly happens? Is it ...
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41 views

Boltzmann factor predicts arbitrarily large numbers of electrons at high potential?

In deriving the Debye shielding length we are told that the Boltzmann factor for particles of charge $q$ is: $n_{q}=n_{0}\exp(-q\phi/kT)$ If we assume the potential $\phi$ is positive, then the ...
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4answers
219 views

Why is quasineutrality required for a gas to turn into a plasma?

Why is quasineutrality a required condition for a plasma to exist? Quasineutrality means that no density of electrons and ions should almost be equal but not exactly equal. Can anybody explain this ...
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282 views

why ions and electrons are at different temperatures in plasma?

In plasma, collision rate among ions or electrons is much larger than the collision rate between ions and electrons. why is that so?
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51 views

Fusion plasma compression with liquid metal

General Fusion plans to use an imploding shockwave of molten lead to compress a magnetized plasma "spheromak" target in order to make it burn more efficiently. How come the lead does not quench the ...
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1answer
108 views

Fusion reactors why does size matter?

I've been following articles about fusion recently, and with the ITER project mostly. I have noticed that their view point is they need to build a large scale reactor in order to achieve their goals. ...
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466 views

Difference between irreversible and entropy?

Cedric Villani recently wrote an article on Landau damping, where at least one topic discussed confused me. Besides discussing the issue of how a process can be microscopically reversible and ...
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190 views

Relationship between plasma physics and quark gluon plasma

To what extent do the ideas common in modern plasma physics, such as magnetohydrodynamics, cold plasma models, common types of plasma waves, Maxwell's Equations, etc, relate to the study of quark ...
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68 views

Particle acceleration at magnetized shocks by convective electric fields?

Let us assume we have a flow of charged particles in a quasi-neutral state (i.e., a plasma) convecting at some speed, $\mathbf{V}_{sw}$ = V$_{sw}$ $\hat{x}$, and the particles have species-dependent ...
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3answers
785 views

Is a plasma necessarily made of monoatomic ions?

Is it possible to have a plasma made of polyatomic ions instead of monoatomic ions? I want to know all the details why such a thing may be attainable or not and, if possible, what methods we can use ...
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1answer
54 views

Aftermath of Plasma Arc

You have a chamber with constant amount of gas (say either helium or argon). You create the plasma with an arc and turn it off. How much of the gas used to create the plasma returns back to helium or ...
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1answer
99 views

What happens when a slow wave reaches lower hybrid resonance?

Lower hybrid resonance occurs when $n_{\perp}^2$ goes to infinity, and it occurs only for the slow wave solution, not the fast wave. Since $n_{\perp}$ is proportional to $k_{\perp}$, and $k = \frac{2 ...
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61 views

Physical reason for magnetic mirroring?

I understand the mathematical derivation of magnetic mirroring, which usually starts from the conservation of the magnetic dipole moment (e.g. in a plasma). But physically: a mirrored particle is ...
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384 views

Why does the majority of smoke leave when flames appear?

When I burn wood, paper, or other plant matter, where there is a flame, there generally isn't too much smoke, but it I blow the fire out, smoke starts billowing up. It billows thicker and thicker as ...
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148 views

What materials are used in non thermal plasma?

While reading about non-thermal plasmas, I came across their ionization potentials(~1%), and other capabilities, such as their non Maxwellian energy distributions. At what temperatures, and pressures ...
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1answer
1k views

Formula for Electrical Arc Length

I was playing with some High-Voltage the other day, when a question popped into my head. Can you calculate length of an electrical arc? It probably would be proportional to :- 1. Voltage of the source ...
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5answers
175 views

Is the plasma state always visible?

All the examples of plasma I have come across are visible. Is there any plasma which is not visible? For example, during a dark lightening we don't see the radiation because its gamma radiation. Is ...
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Why do we deal only with large scale magnetic fields in astrophysics, and not electric fields?

In astrophysics there is a lot going on about strong, large scale magnetic fields: in stars (prominences), magnetic dynamos, compact accretors collimating jets, etc. There's even a special ...
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2answers
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Are Mach Diamonds radially symmetrical?

Videos like this show a form that suggests a radial symmetry in the gas jet. The same is reinforced by schematic illustrations. But other images, like this, look like there is a twisting structure ...
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529 views

Is it true that gravitational lensing only occurs for objects made of plasma?

The question concerns this video: It says that the Gravitational Lens effect is an illusion, meaning it's not caused by gravity but by change in density of a plasma atmosphere. It claims further ...
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65 views

How do I modify a 3-D simulation grid to be 2-D?

I am creating a particle in cell simulation that models an electron plasma in a cylindrical container. Part of this process is assigning charge density to grid points based on the position of each ...
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98 views

Plasma Question: Expression for electron temperature in terms of the voltage of each prong of a triple Langmuir probe?

So I am trying to derive an expression for electron temperature based on the voltages on a triple Langmuir probe. I have pretty much been following the triple Langmuir probe derivation on wikipedia ...
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1answer
88 views

Absorption of waves in a plasma

Suppose a plasma has characteristic frequency $\omega_p$. Since $$n = \sqrt{\left(1-\frac{\omega_p^2}{\omega^2}\right)} $$ For $\omega<\omega_p$, the refractive index will be imaginary - which ...
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744 views

What's the relationship between glow and arc discharge?

I'm trying to understand the differences between an arc and glow discharge. Most texts I have found on the Internet only describes the observed differences but doesn't really explain what happens on ...
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196 views

How a plasma reacts with an AC electromagnet

Any metal conductor such as aluminium or copper is a conductor because of the free electrons in such metals. Plasma also has free electrons so I would like to know if you can repel plasma the same ...
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39 views

plasma pressure initial condition

The authors in the paper below did a simulation of plasma plume evolution from a laser heated metal target. They used compressible transport equations and ideal gas EOS for Ar. I am having difficulty ...
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6k views

How hot can plasma get?

I remember reading about an experiment where fine rods of tungsten were super-heated with millions of amps of electricity, melting them into ionised gas and were then compressed (by magnetic fields?) ...
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173 views

Magnetic hot air balloon [duplicate]

Normally, hot air balloons are limited to 60,000 ft (related question), the limits being the mass of the physical structure containing the air, and the heat source. If one constructed a magnetic ...
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294 views

Dielectric tensor vs. conductivity tensor in (cold) plasmas

I'm studying Waves in Cold plasmas right now, but I guess my question is generalizable. It's about the 4th Maxwell Equation in polarizable / conductive media: $\nabla \times H = \frac{1}{c} ...