Space charge effects in rf traps: Ponderomotive concept and stroboscopic analysis

Shah, Kushal; Ramachandran, Harishankar
June 2009
Physics of Plasmas;Jun2009, Vol. 16 Issue 6, p062307
Academic Journal
Exact solutions for one-dimensional (1D) plasma dynamics in an rf trap are known when space charge effects are neglected [K. Shah and H. S. Ramachandran, Phys. Plasmas 15, 062303 (2008)]. In this work, weak space charge effects in an rf trap are considered. An analytic expression for the time varying distribution function of the 1D plasma is obtained. It is shown that the plasma is a Maxwellian up to the lowest order in nonlinearity and that the spatially constant temperature periodically oscillates in time at the same rate as the rf frequency. It was shown by Krapchev [Phys. Rev. Lett. 42, 497 (1979)] that the time averaged distribution function is double humped with respect to velocity beyond a certain threshold in space. The time average of the complete time varying distribution function is obtained and some of the predictions of Krapchev are recovered, while also finding discrepancies. The relationship between stroboscopic orbits and the time averaged ponderomotive orbit are obtained for such traps.


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