Modeling of Inelastic Collisions in a Multifluid Plasma: Excitation and Deexcitation
Air Force Research Lab/RQRS Edwards AFB United States
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We describe here a model for inelastic collisions for electronic excitation and deexcitation processes in a general, multifluid plasma. The model is derived from kinetic theory, and applicable to any mixture and mass ratio. The principle of detailed balance is strictly enforced, and the model is consistent with all asymptotic limits. The results are verified with direct Monte Carlo calculations, and various numerical tests are conducted for the case of an electron-hydrogen two-fluid system, using a generic, semiclassical model of collision cross sections. We find that in some cases, the contribution of inelastic collisions to the momentum and thermal resistance coefficients is not negligible, in contrast to the assumptions of current multifluid models. This fundamental model is also applied to ionization and recombination processes, the studies on which are currently underway.