Theory of current-free double layers in plasmas

Goswami, K. S.; Saharia, K.; Schamel, H.
June 2008
Physics of Plasmas;Jun2008, Vol. 15 Issue 6, p062111
Academic Journal
The existence of current-free double layers in unmagnetized plasma is studied by means of the quasipotential method applied to the Vlasov–Poisson system. Crucial for its existence are trapped particle populations that are characterized by notches (dips) in the velocity distribution functions at resonant velocity becoming flat at large amplitude limit. The potential drop across the double layer, or its amplitude ψ, can be arbitrarily strong covering the whole range 0<ψ<∞. Both the small and large amplitude limit are worked out explicitly, inclusively effective kinetic temperatures and pressures. It is, hence, the effective electron (ion) temperature increase (decrease) with increasing potential, caused by the trapped particles, which is responsible for the existence of this two-parameter family of solutions.


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