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THE THEORY OF ELECTROSTATIC PROBES IN STRONG MAGNETIC FIELDS.
COLORADO UNIV BOULDER
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A theory is developed of an electrostatic probe in a fully-ionized plasma in the presence of a strong magnetic field. The ratio of electron Larmor radius to probe transverse dimension is assumed to be small, and an asymptotic perturbation method of multiple scales is used. The leading behavior of the solution is found. The results obtained appear to apply to weaker fields also, agreeing with the solutions known in the limit of no magnetic field. The range of potentials for which results are presented is limited. The basic effects produced by the field are a depletion of the plasma near the probe and a non-monotonic potential surrounding the probe. The ion saturation current is not changed but changes appear in both the floating potential V sub f and the slope of the current-voltage diagram at V sub f. The transition region extends beyond the space potential V sub s, at which point the current is largely reduced. The diagram does not have an exponential form in this region as commonly assumed. There exists saturation in electron collection. The extent to which the plasma is disturbed is determined. A cylindrical probe has no solution because of a logarithmic singularity at infinity. Extensions of the theory are considered. Author
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