Plasma currents and electron distribution functions under a dc electric field of arbitrary strength

S. M. Weng, Zheng-Ming Sheng, M. Q. He, J. Zhang, P. A. Norreys, M. Sherlock, A. P. L. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

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Abstract

The currents induced by arbitrarily strong dc electric fields in plasma and the evolution of electron distributions have been studied by Fokker-Planck simulations. We find that the electron distributions evolve distinctly under different fields; especially, the electron distribution is well represented by the sum of a stationary and drifting Maxwellian at the moderate field. A set of hydrodynamiclike equations, similar to Spitzer’s but without the weak-field limit, is given for calculating the current. It is more suitable for application in hybrid particle-in-cell simulations and may extend plasma transport theory in models that do not employ a kinetic description of the electrons.
Original languageEnglish
Article number185001
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume100
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2008

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plasma currents
current distribution
electron distribution
distribution functions
electric fields
transport theory
simulation
kinetics
cells
electrons

Keywords

  • plasma currents
  • plasma physics
  • electron distribution

Cite this

Weng, S. M. ; Sheng, Zheng-Ming ; He, M. Q. ; Zhang, J. ; Norreys, P. A. ; Sherlock, M. ; Robinson, A. P. L. / Plasma currents and electron distribution functions under a dc electric field of arbitrary strength. In: Physical Review Letters. 2008 ; Vol. 100, No. 18.
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Plasma currents and electron distribution functions under a dc electric field of arbitrary strength. / Weng, S. M.; Sheng, Zheng-Ming; He, M. Q.; Zhang, J.; Norreys, P. A.; Sherlock, M.; Robinson, A. P. L.

In: Physical Review Letters, Vol. 100, No. 18, 185001, 05.05.2008.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

TY - JOUR

T1 - Plasma currents and electron distribution functions under a dc electric field of arbitrary strength

AU - Weng, S. M.

AU - Sheng, Zheng-Ming

AU - He, M. Q.

AU - Zhang, J.

AU - Norreys, P. A.

AU - Sherlock, M.

AU - Robinson, A. P. L.

PY - 2008/5/5

Y1 - 2008/5/5

N2 - The currents induced by arbitrarily strong dc electric fields in plasma and the evolution of electron distributions have been studied by Fokker-Planck simulations. We find that the electron distributions evolve distinctly under different fields; especially, the electron distribution is well represented by the sum of a stationary and drifting Maxwellian at the moderate field. A set of hydrodynamiclike equations, similar to Spitzer’s but without the weak-field limit, is given for calculating the current. It is more suitable for application in hybrid particle-in-cell simulations and may extend plasma transport theory in models that do not employ a kinetic description of the electrons.

AB - The currents induced by arbitrarily strong dc electric fields in plasma and the evolution of electron distributions have been studied by Fokker-Planck simulations. We find that the electron distributions evolve distinctly under different fields; especially, the electron distribution is well represented by the sum of a stationary and drifting Maxwellian at the moderate field. A set of hydrodynamiclike equations, similar to Spitzer’s but without the weak-field limit, is given for calculating the current. It is more suitable for application in hybrid particle-in-cell simulations and may extend plasma transport theory in models that do not employ a kinetic description of the electrons.

KW - plasma currents

KW - plasma physics

KW - electron distribution

U2 - 10.1103/PhysRevLett.100.185001

DO - 10.1103/PhysRevLett.100.185001

M3 - Letter

VL - 100

JO - Physical Review Letters

JF - Physical Review Letters

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IS - 18

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