Controlling charge and current neutralization of an ion beam pulse in a background plasma by application of a solenoidal magnetic field: Weak magnetic field limit

Kaganovich, I. D.; Startsev, E. A.; Sefkow, A. B.; Davidson, R. C.
October 2008
Physics of Plasmas;Oct2008, Vol. 15 Issue 10, p103108
Academic Journal
Propagation of an intense charged particle beam pulse through a background plasma is a common problem in astrophysics and plasma applications. The plasma can effectively neutralize the charge and current of the beam pulse, and thus provides a convenient medium for beam transport. The application of a small solenoidal magnetic field can drastically change the self-magnetic and self-electric fields of the beam pulse, thus allowing effective control of the beam transport through the background plasma. An analytic model is developed to describe the self-magnetic field of a finite-length ion beam pulse propagating in a cold background plasma in a solenoidal magnetic field. The analytic studies show that the solenoidal magnetic field starts to influence the self-electric and self-magnetic fields when ωce>=ωpeβb, where ωce=eB/mec is the electron gyrofrequency, ωpe is the electron plasma frequency, and βb=Vb/c is the ion beam velocity relative to the speed of light. This condition typically holds for relatively small magnetic fields (about 100 G). Analytical formulas are derived for the effective radial force acting on the beam ions, which can be used to minimize beam pinching. The results of analytic theory have been verified by comparison with the simulation results obtained from two particle-in-cell codes, which show good agreement.


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