Download e-book for iPad: An Introduction to Plasma Physics by W. B. Thompson (Auth.)

By W. B. Thompson (Auth.)

ISBN-10: 0080111807

ISBN-13: 9780080111803

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These oscillations showed up as charac­ teristic patterns of light beyond the interaction region. The theory of PETSCHEK was used to calculate both the density p and conductivity σ behind the shock, as well as the time τ needed to reach thermal equilibrium. Since the length of the ionized column was short, only if τ < 10~5 sec could an inter­ action be expected. From the calculated values of p and σ and the known values of the magnetic field and tube radius, the magnetic Reynold's num­ ber M could be calculated.

G. p — RpT = 0 for a perfect gas. Often conditions are such that some thermodynamic variable, c E ,*«B F I G . 1. The Lorentz force and the effective electric field. Force exerted on a charge g sharing velocity v of the fluid gE* = ? [ E + (v/c) x B] temperature or more frequently entropy, is constant and a reduced equation of state directly relating pressure and density may be used. 5) Ut * where y( > 1) is the polytropic index, or the ratio of specific heats. If no such reduction is possible, the full equation of state must be used and the hydrodynamic equations supplemented by an expression determining the transport of internal energy, such as DT Cv + V divv+ZV2T = 0 Dt the energy transport equation for a perfect gas, where Cv is the volume specific heat, and K the thermal conductivity.

It is the slow penetration of magnetic fields that enables relatively thin metal sheets to act as screens against rapidly alternating fields. At the other extreme, the enormous volume of conducting material in astronomical bodies can maintain currents for very long times. The earth, for example, has a core of a conductivity probably ~ 1015 sec - 1 and a radius ~ 5000 km so that the characteristic decay time for a magnetic field is ~ 2 - 5 x l 0 1 2 s e c ~ 105 years. Also, from the extremely small value of rq it is clear that a conductor resembles a plasma in remaining quasi-neutral.

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An Introduction to Plasma Physics by W. B. Thompson (Auth.)


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