Probing of flowing electron plasmas

Himura, H.; Nakashima, C.; Saito, H.; Yoshida, Z.
October 2001
Physics of Plasmas;Oct2001, Vol. 8 Issue 10
Academic Journal
Probing of streaming electron plasmas with finite temperature is studied. For the first time, a current-voltage characteristic of an electric probe is measured in electron plasmas. Due to the fast flow of the electron plasmas, the characteristic curve spreads out significantly and exhibits a long tail. This feature can be explained calculating the currents collected to the probe. In flowing electron plasmas, the distribution function observed in the laboratory frame is non-Maxwellian even if the plasmas come to a state of thermal equilibrium. Another significant feature of the characteristic is that it determines a floating potential where the current equals zero, despite there being very few ions in the electron plasma. A high impedance probe, which is popularly used to determine the space potential of electron plasmas, outputs the potential. The method is available only for plasmas with density much smaller than the Brillouin limit. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.


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