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Unformatted text preview: Plasmas as Fluids At this point we need to use a number of basic equations that describe plasmas as fluids. While it is possible to calculate these equations from first principles, using Maxwells electromagnetic field equations and Maxwells velocity distribution (Man that guy did everything!) the process is tedious, fairly difficult and very time consuming. As the aim of this class is to develop a basic feel for plasmas (wisdom rather than book smarts) in this class we will simply assume that the equations are correct. For those of you who feel more adventuresome, notes going through those derivations are found at //www.utdallas.edu/~goeckner/plasma_sci_class/ Please realize that those derivations took ~ 4 class periods to complete. The basic equations are follows: Boltzmanns Equation df dt = 0 = ( 29 + ( 29 + This is relatively easy to prove df dt = + + = ( 29 + ( 29 + = ( 29 + ( 29 + Zeroth moment of the Boltzmann Equation The Equation of Continuity (Particle conservation) f c = ( 29 + Moments are derived by multiplying by v moment f( v ) and integrating over all velocity. Thus what we are seeing is a measure of the average of this particular parameter. First moment of the Boltzmann equation Momentum Conservation This is also known as the fluid equation of motion mn + = 123- / 1 2 4 3 4- + + ( 29 Poissons Equation (which comes straight from Maxwells E-M equations) 2 F = - r e = e e n e- n i ( ) Boltzmann Density Relation n = Now we have the basic equations (There are a few higher moments that come into play elsewhere that we will not have to deal with in this class.) we can begin to see how plasmas react as a whole. Remember plasmas have these collective behaviors which we are going to explore now. (We need to understand these behaviors so that we can understand many of the diagnostics used in plasmas.) The first behavior that we will explore is the ability of the plasma to shield out static electric fields. This behavior should make sense as any strong electric field in a plasma will separate the negative and positive charge carriers. The distance over which a field can penetrate is known as the Debye length. (Note that electromagnetic fields can also be shielded out BUT the behavior is very different. We will get to this soon.) Debye Length We can now calculate the Debye length an effective length over which a plasma will shield an electric field. (The length is the 1/e distance for reducing a potential.)(The length is the 1/e distance for reducing a potential....
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This note was uploaded on 01/23/2011 for the course PHYS 123 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '07 term at UC Davis.
- Spring '07