DENSITY FLUCTUATIONS IN A PLASMA IN A MAGNETIC FIELD, WITH APPLICATIONS TO THE IONOSPHERE
STANFORD UNIV CA STANFORD ELECTRONICS LABS
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General expressions are developed for the fluctuation in density of electrons, ions, and charge in a plasma in thermal equilibrium in an external magnetic field taking only Coulomb interaction into account. The spectral distribution of the spatial Fourier components of these fluctuations is derived from basic principles. The fluctuations in electron density are discussed in some detail, and spectra are computed under conditions which are thought to prevail in the outer ionosphere. Frequency spectra of general validity are over computed for electron density fluctuations along the magnetic field. It is shown by many of examples that the frequency spectra under ionospheric conditions are not much influenced by the magnetic field except for density fluctuations fairly close to perpendicularity to the magnet c field. Applications to incoherent backscattering are discussed, and it is shown that, under suitable conditions, backscatter techniques can give valuable information about electron density, temperature and constituents of the ionosphere.
- Electricity and Magnetism
- Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics