Plasma dynamics in pulsed strong magnetic fields

R. Doron, R. Arad, K. Tsigutkin, D. Osin, A. Weingarten, A. Starobinets, V. A. Bernshtam, E. Stambulchik, Yu. V. Ralchenko, Y. Maron, A. Fruchtman, A. Fisher (+2 others)
2004 Physics of Plasmas  
Recent investigations of the interaction of fast-rising magnetic fields with multi-species plasmas at densities of 10 13 -10 15 cm Ϫ3 are described. The configurations studied are planar or coaxial interelectrode gaps pre-filled with plasmas, known as plasma opening switches. The diagnostics are based on time-dependent, spatially resolved spectroscopic observations. Three-dimensional spatial resolution is obtained by plasma-doping techniques. The measurements include the propagating magnetic
more » ... agating magnetic field structure, ion velocity distributions, electric field strengths, and non-Maxwellian electron energy distribution across the magnetic field front. It is found that the magnetic field propagation velocity is faster than expected from diffusion. The magnetic field evolution cannot be explained by the available theoretical treatments based on the Hall field ͑that could, in principle, explain the fast field propagation͒. Moreover, detailed observations reveal that magnetic field penetration and plasma reflection occur simultaneously, leading to ion-species separation, which is also not predicted by the available theories. A possible mechanism that is based on the formation of small-scale density fluctuations, previously formulated for astrophysical plasmas, may explain these results.
doi:10.1063/1.1651491 fatcat:spqm232crfgptaec3og4qikko4