AN OPTICAL SPECTROSCOPIC INVESTIGATION OF HELIUM AND NITROGEN PLASMAS
CALIFORNIA UNIV SANTA BARBARA
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Energetic species and their respective energy exchange processes in a cool, high density helium plasma has been reviewed. Light from a flowing helium afterglow was observed from 2500 to 10,500 A using an Ebert double-pass scanning monochromator coupled to standard dc detecting equipment. Experimental data in the form of relative populations of atomic helium states provided motivation for a theory which may explain the manner in which ionization is maintained in the afterglow region of the helium plasma. A bimodal electron distribution was found to exist in this plasma. Molecular nitrogen was used as a probe to detect various energetic species present in the helium afterglow. In addition to the usual systems observed when N2 is injected into the helium afterglow, light from many levels of atomic nitrogen and three new vibrational population distributions of the first positive system of molecular nitrogen were observed. Two independent mechanisms for exciting the atomic nitrogen were isolated.
- Atomic and Molecular Physics and Spectroscopy
- Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics