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Title: Final Scientific/Technical Report: Correlations and Fluctuations in Weakly Collisional Plasma

Abstract

Plasma is a state of matter that exhibits a very rich range of phenomena. To begin with, plasma is both electrical and mechanical - bringing together theories of particle motion and the electromagnetic field. Furthermore, and especially important for this project, a weakly-collisional plasma, such as is found in high-temperature (fusion energy) experiments on earth and the majority of contexts in space and astrophysics, has many moving parts. For example, sitting in earth’s atmosphere we are immersed in a mechanical wave field (sound), a possibly turbulent fluid motion (wind), and an electromagnetic vector wave field with two polarizations (light). This is already enough to produce a rich range of possibilities. In plasma, the electromagnetic field is coupled to the mechanical motion of the medium because it is ionized. Furthermore, a weakly-collisional plasma supports an infinite number of mechanically independent fluids. Thus, plasmas support an infinite number of independent electromechanical waves. Much has been done to describe plasmas with "reduced models" of various kinds. The goal of this project was to both explore the validity of reduced plasma models that are in use, and to propose and validate new models of plasma motion. The primary means to his end was laboratorymore » experiments employing both electrical probes and laser spectroscopy. Laser spectroscopy enables many techniques which can separate the spectrum of independent fluid motions in the ion phase-space. The choice was to focus on low frequency electrostatic waves because the electron motion is relatively simple, the experiments can be on a spatial scale of a few meters, and all the relevant parameters can be measured with a few lasers systems. No study of this kind had previously been undertaken for the study of plasmas. The validation of theories required that the experimental descriptions be compared with theory and simulation in detail. It was found that even multi-fluid theories leave out a large part of the complexity of plasma motion. Reduced descriptions were found to fail under most circumstances. A new technique was developed that enabled a measurement of the phase-space resolved ion correlation function for the first time. The wide range of plasma dynamics possible became clear through this technique. It was found that collisionless (Vlasov) theory has a large field of application even when the plasma is weakly-collisional. A new approach, the kinetic wave expansion, was proposed, tested and found to be very useful for describing electrostatic ion waves. This project demonstrated a new way of looking at the "degrees-of-freedom" of plasmas and provided significant validation tests of fluid and kinetic plasma descriptions.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1409043
Report Number(s):
DOE-IOWA-54543
DOE Contract Number:  
FG02-99ER54543
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY

Citation Formats

Skiff, Frederick. Final Scientific/Technical Report: Correlations and Fluctuations in Weakly Collisional Plasma. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1409043.
Skiff, Frederick. Final Scientific/Technical Report: Correlations and Fluctuations in Weakly Collisional Plasma. United States. doi:10.2172/1409043.
Skiff, Frederick. Wed . "Final Scientific/Technical Report: Correlations and Fluctuations in Weakly Collisional Plasma". United States. doi:10.2172/1409043. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1409043.
@article{osti_1409043,
title = {Final Scientific/Technical Report: Correlations and Fluctuations in Weakly Collisional Plasma},
author = {Skiff, Frederick},
abstractNote = {Plasma is a state of matter that exhibits a very rich range of phenomena. To begin with, plasma is both electrical and mechanical - bringing together theories of particle motion and the electromagnetic field. Furthermore, and especially important for this project, a weakly-collisional plasma, such as is found in high-temperature (fusion energy) experiments on earth and the majority of contexts in space and astrophysics, has many moving parts. For example, sitting in earth’s atmosphere we are immersed in a mechanical wave field (sound), a possibly turbulent fluid motion (wind), and an electromagnetic vector wave field with two polarizations (light). This is already enough to produce a rich range of possibilities. In plasma, the electromagnetic field is coupled to the mechanical motion of the medium because it is ionized. Furthermore, a weakly-collisional plasma supports an infinite number of mechanically independent fluids. Thus, plasmas support an infinite number of independent electromechanical waves. Much has been done to describe plasmas with "reduced models" of various kinds. The goal of this project was to both explore the validity of reduced plasma models that are in use, and to propose and validate new models of plasma motion. The primary means to his end was laboratory experiments employing both electrical probes and laser spectroscopy. Laser spectroscopy enables many techniques which can separate the spectrum of independent fluid motions in the ion phase-space. The choice was to focus on low frequency electrostatic waves because the electron motion is relatively simple, the experiments can be on a spatial scale of a few meters, and all the relevant parameters can be measured with a few lasers systems. No study of this kind had previously been undertaken for the study of plasmas. The validation of theories required that the experimental descriptions be compared with theory and simulation in detail. It was found that even multi-fluid theories leave out a large part of the complexity of plasma motion. Reduced descriptions were found to fail under most circumstances. A new technique was developed that enabled a measurement of the phase-space resolved ion correlation function for the first time. The wide range of plasma dynamics possible became clear through this technique. It was found that collisionless (Vlasov) theory has a large field of application even when the plasma is weakly-collisional. A new approach, the kinetic wave expansion, was proposed, tested and found to be very useful for describing electrostatic ion waves. This project demonstrated a new way of looking at the "degrees-of-freedom" of plasmas and provided significant validation tests of fluid and kinetic plasma descriptions.},
doi = {10.2172/1409043},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Nov 15 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Wed Nov 15 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

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