THEORY OF SPHERICAL PROBES IN MONOENERGETIC PLASMAS.
AEROSPACE RESEARCH LABS OFFICE OF AEROSPACE RESEARCH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OHIO
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The paper gives a survey of the behavior of a plasma probe in a monoenergetic isotropic homogeneous plasma. Monoenergetic means that all electrons have the same energy, the energies of the electrons and ions may be different. The analysis is carried out in the Vlasov approximation. It begins with the derivation and a discussion of the equation for the potential in the field around the functions are specialized to delta-functions. The governing equation is a non-linear differential equation containing parameters which are ultimately defined by the solution which one wants to find. This solution is found iteratively. In order to obtain the pth approximation a linearization for the vicinity of the p-1th approximation is used. A special technique is used in order to obtain a formulation which is numerically stable. On this basis probe characteristics probe current versus probe potential were computed for a considerable number of cases, so that a fairly complete survey of the behavior of a probe is obtained. Author
- Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics