Microscopic Properties of Plasma
The physical description of a high-temperature plasma starts with the single particle motion of electrons and ions, as these are present in all gases at temperatures exceeding 1000° centigrade. The mechanism of ionization of molecules or atoms by collisions due to thermal motion or by radiation processes and interaction with neutral atoms is of little interest in laser-produced plasmas, which have plasma temperatures exceeding 100,000° centigrade (corresponding to 10 eV). Each particle has a charge Ze (e is the elementary charge, e = 1.602 x 10−19 Coulomb = 4.807 x 10−10 Gaussian cgs-units) where Z is an integer describing the number of elementary charges the ions of a mass mi have. In nearly all of the following cases Z is one, because we shall consider hydrogen ions with a mass M = 1.67 x 10−24 grams, or of two or three times this value if deuterium or tritium ions are used. The mass of the electron is m e = 9.109 x 10−28 grams.
KeywordsCoulomb Collision Microscopic Property Homogeneous Plasma Plasmon Energy Electrostatic Oscillation
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