Volume 22, Issue 3, March 2015
Index of content:
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4914089View Description Hide Description
Dusty plasmas have been studied in argon, rf glow discharge plasmas at magnetic fields up to 2 T, where the electrons and ions are strongly magnetized. In this experiment, plasmas are generated between two parallel plate electrodes where the lower, powered electrode is solid and the upper, electrically floating electrode supports a semi-transparent, titanium mesh. We report on the formation of an ordered dusty plasma, where the dust particles form a spatial structure that is aligned to the mesh. We discuss possible mechanisms that may lead to the formation of the “dust grid” and point out potential implications and applications of these observations.
- Basic Plasma Phenomena, Waves, Instabilities
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913805View Description Hide Description
A novel algorithm for the simulation of cathode plasmas in particle-in-cell codes is described and applied to investigate cathode plasma evolution in magnetically insulated transmission lines (MITLs). The MITL electron sheath is modeled by a fully kinetic electron species. Electron and ion macroparticles, both modeled as fluid species, form a dense plasma which is initially localized at the cathode surface. Energetic plasma electron particles can be converted to kinetic electrons to resupply the electron flux at the plasma edge (the “effective” cathode). Using this model, we compare results for the time evolution of the cathode plasma and MITL electron flow with a simplified (isothermal) diffusion model. Simulations in 1D show a slow diffusive expansion of the plasma from the cathode surface. But in multiple dimensions, the plasma can expand much more rapidly due to anomalous diffusion caused by an instability due to the strong coupling of a transverse magnetic mode in the electron sheath with the expanding resistive plasma layer.
Nonlinear dynamics of the ion Weibel-filamentation instability: An analytical model for the evolution of the plasma and spectral properties22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913651View Description Hide Description
We present a predictive model of the nonlinear phase of the Weibel instability induced by two symmetric, counter-streaming ion beams in the non-relativistic regime. This self-consistent model combines the quasilinear kinetic theory of Davidson et al. [Phys. Fluids 15, 317 (1972)] with a simple description of current filament coalescence. It allows us to follow the evolution of the ion parameters up to a stage close to complete isotropization, and is thus of prime interest to understand the dynamics of collisionless shock formation. Its predictions are supported by 2-D and 3-D particle-in-cell simulations of the ion Weibel instability. The derived approximate analytical solutions reveal the various dependencies of the ion relaxation to isotropy. In particular, it is found that the influence of the electron screening can affect the results of simulations using an unphysical electron mass.
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913823View Description Hide Description
The properties of solitary kinetic Alfvén waves (SKAWs) in a finite β plasma with three dimensional non-extensive electrons are investigated. Numerical results show that there only exists sub-Alfvénic hump type SKAW. The down limit of the Alfvén Mach number Mz for the existence of SKAW increases with the increase of β. Whereas, it varies non-monotonously with respect to electron nonextensive parameter q for a given β. In the range of Mz where SKAWs exist for different values of q, a bigger q results in a denser soliton structure, making the magnitude of the static electric field along the background magnetic field enhanced. However, the dependence of the amplitudes of the perpendicular magnetic and electric field on q is non-monotonous.
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913986View Description Hide Description
We consider the influence of the finite size of ions on the properties of classic plasmas. We focus our attention at the ion acoustic waves for electron-ion plasmas. We also consider the dusty plasmas where we account the finite size of ions and particles of dust and consider the dispersion of dust acoustic waves. The finite size of particles is a classical effect as well as the Coulomb interaction. The finite size of particles considerably contributes to the properties of the dense plasmas in the small wavelength limit. Low temperature dense plasmas, revealing the quantum effects, are also affected by the finite size of plasma particles. Consequently, it is important to consider the finite size of ions in the quantum plasmas as well.
- Nonlinear Phenomena, Turbulence, Transport
Double-reconnected magnetic structures driven by Kelvin-Helmholtz vortices at the Earth's magnetosphere22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913578View Description Hide Description
In an almost collisionless magnetohydrodynamic plasma in a relatively strong magnetic field, stresses can be conveyed far from the region where they are exerted, e.g., through the propagation of Alfvèn waves. The forced dynamics of line-tied magnetic structures in solar and stellar coronae (see, e.g., A. F. Rappazzo and E. N. Parker, Astrophys. J. 773, L2 (2013) and references therein) is a paradigmatic case. Here, we investigate how this action at a distance develops from the equatorial region of the Kelvin-Helmholtz unstable flanks of the Earth's magnetosphere leading to the onset, at mid latitude in both hemispheres, of correlated double magnetic field line reconnection events that can allow the solar wind plasma to enter the Earth's magnetosphere.
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913808View Description Hide Description
Exact analytical self-similar solution is presented for free collisionless expansion of a two-component plasma of inertial ions and nonextensive electrons into vacuum, using the generalized nonextensive velocity distribution for electrons. Furthermore, a hydrodynamic model of plasma expansion in the presence of the ambipolar diffusion caused by collisions among the plasma species, such as electrons and ions, is developed and a Fokker-Planck-like generalized diffusion equation for steady-state expansion of a nonextensive electron-ion plasma is derived. For the case of generalized statistics and in the absence of particle diffusion, the density, velocity, electric potential, and field of expansion profiles are exactly obtained and studied in terms of the self-similar parameter. It is found that superthermal electrons lead to an accelerated expansion of plasma compared to that of Maxwellian electrons. It is also revealed that the nonextensivity parameter plays a fundamental role on the density, velocity, electric potential, and field configuration of the expansion. Therefore, one is able to distinguish three different regimes q < 1, q = 1, and q > 1 for expansion corresponding to sub-nonextensive, extensive, and super-nonextensive statistical profiles for electrons, respectively. Current research can provide useful information and suggests techniques for investigation of the involved statistical mechanism on the role of the energetic electron fluid in the expansion of plasma in strong pulsed laser-matter interaction experiments. It is also shown that the particle diffusion expansion mechanism becomes more dominant for relatively large values of the nonextensivity parameter, q.
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913985View Description Hide Description
Amplitude modulation of a compressional Alfven wave in compensated electron-hole semiconductor plasmas is considered in the quantum magnetohydrodynamic regime in this paper. The important ingredients of this study are the inclusion of the particle degeneracy pressure, exchange-correlation potential, and the quantum diffraction effects via the Bohm potential in the momentum balance equations of the charge carriers. A modified nonlinear Schrödinger equation is derived for the evolution of the slowly varying amplitude of the compressional Alfven wave by employing the standard reductive perturbation technique. Typical values of the parameters for GaAs, GaSb, and GaN semiconductors are considered in analyzing the linear and nonlinear dispersions of the compressional Alfven wave. Detailed analysis of the modulation instability in the long-wavelength regime is presented. For typical parameter ranges of the semiconductor plasmas and at the long-wavelength regime, it is found that the wave is modulationally unstable above a certain critical wavenumber. Effects of the exchange-correlation potential and the Bohm potential in the wave dynamics are also studied. It is found that the effect of the Bohm potential may be neglected in comparison with the effect of the exchange-correlation potential in the linear and nonlinear dispersions of the compressional Alfven wave.
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4914090View Description Hide Description
A fundamental requirement for the validity and accuracy of any large-scale computation is sufficiently well-resolved length and time scales relevant to the problem under study. Ironically, despite the enormous computational resources available today, poorly resolved length scales in sophisticated nonlinear calculations are not uncommon. Using the internal kink mode that is responsible for tokamak sawtooth oscillations as an example, consequences of not resolving in sufficient detail the linear and nonlinear layer widths of the resistive n = 1 mode and its nonlinear spectrum are examined. Poor radial and spectral resolution are shown to cause nonphysical, large-scale stochasticity that can be erroneously associated with a fast temperature collapse and sawtooth crash. With the assistance of a nonlinear mode coupling model, a sufficiently well-resolved toroidal spectrum is shown to require at least an order of magnitude more toroidal modes than is commonly used at dissipation levels relevant to today's tokamaks. A subgrid-scale model is introduced that helps with the spectral resolution problem by reducing the required number of degrees of freedom from that of a well-resolved direct numerical simulation.
- Magnetically Confined Plasmas, Heating, Confinement
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4907656View Description Hide Description
This paper describes experiments carried out on the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR) [R. J. Hawryluk et al., Plasma Phys. Controlled Fusion 33, 1509 (1991)] to investigate the dependence of β-limiting disruption characteristics on toroidal field strength. The hard disruptions found at the β-limit in high field plasmas were not found at low field, even for β's 50% higher than the empirical β-limit of β n ≈ 2 at high field. Comparisons of experimentally measured β's to TRANSP simulations suggest anomalous loss of up to half of the beam fast ions in the highest β, low field shots. The anomalous transport responsible for the fast ion losses may at the same time broaden the pressure profile. Toroidal Alfvén eigenmodes, fishbone instabilities, and Geodesic Acoustic Modes are investigated as possible causes of the enhanced losses. Here, we present the first observations of high frequency fishbones [F. Zonca et al., Nucl. Fusion 49, 085009 (2009)] on TFTR. The interpretation of Axi-symmetric Beam-driven Modes as Geodesic Acoustic Modes and their possible correlation with transport barrier formation are also presented.
- Inertially Confined Plasmas, High Energy Density Plasma Science, Warm Dense Matter
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913988View Description Hide Description
Ongoing polar-direct-drive (PDD) implosions on the National Ignition Facility (NIF) [J. D. Lindl and E. I. Moses, Phys. Plasmas 18, 050901 (2011)] use existing NIF hardware, including indirect-drive phase plates. This limits the performance achievable in these implosions. Spot shapes are identified that significantly improve the uniformity of PDD NIF implosions; outer surface deviation is reduced by a factor of 7 at the end of the laser pulse and hot-spot distortion is reduced by a factor of 2 when the shell has converged by a factor of ∼10. As a result, the neutron yield increases by approximately a factor of 2. This set of laser spot shapes is a combination of circular and elliptical spots, along with elliptical spot shapes modulated by an additional higher-intensity ellipse offset from the center of the beam. This combination is motivated in this paper. It is also found that this improved implosion uniformity is obtained independent of the heat conduction model. This work indicates that significant improvement in performance can be obtained robustly with the proposed spot shapes.
- Ionospheric, Solar-System, and Astrophysical Plasmas
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913579View Description Hide Description
A theory is proposed to discuss the creation of hot solar corona. We pay special attention to the transition region and the low corona, and consider that the sun is quiet. The proposed scenario suggests that the protons are heated by intrinsic Alfvénic turbulence, while the ambient electrons are heated by the hot protons via collisions. The theory contains two prime components: the generation of the Alfvénic fluctuations by the heavy minor ions in the transition region and second, the explanation of the temperature profile in the low solar atmosphere. The proposed heating process operates continuously in time and globally in space.
Magnetic dipolar and quadrupolar transitions in two-electron atoms under exponential-cosine-screened Coulomb potential22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913681View Description Hide Description
A detailed investigation of the magnetic dipolar and quadrupolar excitation energies and transition probabilities of helium isoelectronic He, Be2+, C4+, and O6+ have been performed under exponential cosine screened Coulomb potential generated in a plasma environment. The low-lying excited states 1s2:1Se → 1sns:3Se 0, and 1snp:3Po 2 (n = 2, 3, 4, and 5) are considered. The variational time-dependent coupled Hartree-Fock scheme has been used. The effect of the confinement produced by the potential on the structural properties is investigated for increasing coupling strength of the plasma. It is noted that there is a gradual destabilization of the energy of the system with the reduction of the ionization potential and the number of excited states. The effect of the screening enhancement on the excitation energies and transition probabilities has also been investigated and the results compared with those available for the free systems and under the simple screened Coulomb potential.
- Lasers, Particle Beams, Accelerators, Radiation Generation
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913672View Description Hide Description
A time-domain theory of frequency-locking gyrotron oscillators with low-Q resonators has been developed. The presented theory is based on the description of wave propagation by a parabolic equation taking into account the external signal by modification of boundary conditions. We show that the developed model can be effectively used for simulations of both single- and multi-mode operation regimes in gyrotrons driven by an external signal. For the case of low-Q resonators typical for powerful gyrotrons, the external signal can influence the axial field profile inside the interaction space significantly and, correspondingly, the value of the electron orbital efficiency.
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913991View Description Hide Description
We study synchrotron radiation emission from laser interaction with near critical density (NCD) plasmas at intensities of 1021 W∕cm2 using three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. It is found that the electron dynamics depend on the laser shaping process in NCD plasmas, and thus the angular distribution of the emitted photons changes as the laser pulse evolves in space and time. The final properties of the resulting synchrotron radiation, such as its overall energy, the critical photon energy, and the radiation angular distribution, are strongly affected by the laser polarization and plasma density. By using a 420 TW∕50 fs laser pulse at the optimal plasma density (∼1nc ), about 108 photons/0.1% bandwidth are produced at multi-MeV photon energies, providing a route to ultraintense, femtosecond gamma ray pulses.
- Radiation: Emission, Absorption, Transport
Comparison of plasma temperature and electron density on nanosecond laser ablation of Cu and nano-Cu22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913987View Description Hide Description
Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy is performed through the collection of spectra by spectral detection equipment at different delay times and distances from targets composed of Cu and nano-Cu, which are ablated using a Nd:YAG laser (532 nm, 10 ns, 10 Hz) in our experiments. The measured wavelength range is from 475 nm to 525 nm. Using the local thermodynamic equilibrium model, we analyze the characteristics of the plasma temperature and the electron number density for different distances between the target surface and the lens. The results show that when compared with the nano-Cu plasma case, the temperature of the Cu plasma is higher, while its electron number density is lower.
- Low-Temperature Plasmas, Plasma Applications, Plasma Sources, Sheaths
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913354View Description Hide Description
Presented here are experimental measurements, analytic expressions, and simulation results for pulsed, magnetically guided positron beams formed using a Penning-Malmberg style buffer gas trap. In the relevant limit, particle motion can be separated into motion along the magnetic field and gyro-motion in the plane perpendicular to the field. Analytic expressions are developed which describe the evolution of the beam energy distributions, both parallel and perpendicular to the magnetic field, as the beam propagates through regions of varying magnetic field. Simulations of the beam formation process are presented, with the parameters chosen to accurately replicate experimental conditions. The initial conditions and ejection parameters are varied systematically in both experiment and simulation, allowing the relevant processes involved in beam formation to be explored. These studies provide new insights into the underlying physics, including significant adiabatic cooling, due to the time-dependent beam-formation potential. Methods to improve the beam energy and temporal resolution are discussed.
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913654View Description Hide Description
This study is designed to explore the two dimensional temperature maps of the atmospheric argon discharge consisting of pin-to-plane electrodes supplied by a high voltage DC source. After checking the stability of the micro discharge, the two dimensional image plane focused by a quartz lens was scanned by the fiber probe driven by a 3D Mobile Platform. The rotational and vibrational temperatures are calculated using nitrogen emissions collected by the high resolution spectrometer and high sensitive intensified charge coupled device. The rotational temperature varies from 1558.15 K to 2621.14 K and vibrational temperature varies from 3010.38 K to 3774.69 K, indicating a great temperature gradient due to small discharge size. The temperature maps show a lateral expansion and a sharp truncation in the radial direction. A double layers discharge is identified, where an arc discharge coats the glow discharge.
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913978View Description Hide Description
More and more attention has been attached to atmospheric-pressure air diffuse plasma due to its enormous potential applications. In this paper, we designed a large-scale, cylindrical diffuse-plasma chamber using wire electrodes and a repetitive nanosecond pulse generator. The plasma chamber can be completely exposed in the open air without any barrier dielectric, and the length of cylindrical plasma chamber was extensible. Using optical and electrical measurements, we investigated the effects of electrode distance, electrode length, pulse repetition frequency, and electrode angle on the uniformity of discharge space. Four discharge regions were distinguished based on different spectral characteristics. Additionally, it was found that the discharge uniformity was improved as the electrode distance decreases, but remained almost constant with the variations of electrode length and pulse repetition frequency. Both of the plasma uniformity and the power density increased significantly as the electrode angle reduced.
- Dusty Plasmas
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913576View Description Hide Description
A theory of correlation effects in dusty plasmas based on a suitably augmented Debye Huckel approximation is proposed. A model which takes into account the confinement of the dust within the plasma (by external fields) is considered. The dispersion relation of compressional modes with correlation effects is obtained. Results show that strong coupling effects may be subdominant even when Г ≫ 1. Thus, in the limit and/or κ → ∞, one obtains the weakly coupled dust thermal mode. In the range of values of Г ≫ 1, the strong coupling effects scale with κ instead of Г; increasing Г increases the dust acoustic waves phase velocity in this regime. In the limit , one obtains the weakly coupled dust acoustic wave. Only in the limit , one obtains strong coupling effects, e.g., the dust lattice waves ( , a is the mean particle distance and is the Debye length). Observations from a number of experiments are explained.