Electromagnetic Waves in Plasmas
5.1 General Treatment of Linear Waves in Anisotropic
Start with general approach to waves in a linear Medium: Maxwell:
B = o j +
; E =
we keep all the mediums response explicit in
Fluid Description of Plasma
The single particle approach gets to be horribly complicated, as we have seen.
Basically we need a more statistical approach because we cant follow each particle separately.
If the details of the distribution function
Collisions in Plasmas
Binary collisions between charged particles
Reduced-mass for binary collisions:
Two particles interacting with each other have forces
F12 force on 1 from 2.
F21 force on 2 from 1.
By Newtons 3rd law, F12 = F21 .
Motion of Charged Particles in Fields
Plasmas are complicated because motions of electrons and ions are determined by the electric
and magnetic elds but also change the elds by the currents they carry.
For now we shall ignore the second part of
What is a Plasma?
An ionized gas
A plasma is a gas in which an important fraction of the atoms is ionized, so that the electrons
and ions are separately free.
When does this ionization occur? When the temperature is hot en