ELECTRON DENSITY FLUCTUATIONS IN A PLASMA
CORNELL UNIV ITHACA NY
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The spatial Fourier transform P is considered for wave vector k of the charge distribution of the electrons in a plasma with particle density n, electron and ion temperatures T and T sub i, and Debye length D. We assume the absence of a magnetic field, neglect collisions, and assume nD cubed is greater than 1. The statistical average of P squared is calculated as a function of a equals 1kD assuming complete thermodynamic equilibrium that component of P squared, which keeps in phase with the ion charge density fluctuations is also calculated. The frequency spectrum of the time-varying function P is obtained at thermal equilibrium and simplified, assuming the ion mass to be much larger than the electron mass, for general values of a and TT sub i. For small a the main component of the spectrum has the characteristic Doppler broadening shape corresponding to the electrons thermal velocity. For large a we have a component with narrow width corresponding roughly to the ion-velocity Doppler spread and very narrow side bands at plus and minus the frequency of electrostatic plasma oscillations.
- Nuclear Physics and Elementary Particle Physics