# Ion distribution function in a plasma with uniform electric field

## Abstract

For a homogeneous partially ionized plasma subject to a uniform electric field E, several methods and models are used to calculate the distribution function f(v) for ions subject to charge-exchange collisions. The exact solution for f(v), based on the energy-dependent cross section for Ar, is obtained by Monte Carlo (MC) simulation. This is compared to the MC results for f(v), based on either a constant cross section {sigma} or a constant collision frequency {nu}. The constant-{sigma} model is found to accurately represent f(v) for any value of E, whereas the constant-{nu} results are qualitatively incorrect for large fields. Under the constant-{sigma} assumption, a simple, easily solvable ordinary differential equation is obtained which reproduces the MC results with good accuracy.

- Authors:

- Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20740 (United States)
- Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, 85741 Garching (Germany)

- Publication Date:

- OSTI Identifier:
- 22068937

- Resource Type:
- Journal Article

- Journal Name:
- Physics of Plasmas

- Additional Journal Information:
- Journal Volume: 19; Journal Issue: 11; Other Information: (c) 2012 American Institute of Physics; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X

- Country of Publication:
- United States

- Language:
- English

- Subject:
- 71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; 70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ACCURACY; CHARGE EXCHANGE; COLLISIONS; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; CROSS SECTIONS; DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS; DISTRIBUTION FUNCTIONS; ELECTRIC FIELDS; ENERGY DEPENDENCE; EXACT SOLUTIONS; IONS; MONTE CARLO METHOD; PLASMA

### Citation Formats

```
Lampe, M., Joyce, G., Roecker, T. B., Zhdanov, S. K., Ivlev, A. V., and Morfill, G. E.
```*Ion distribution function in a plasma with uniform electric field*. United States: N. p., 2012.
Web. doi:10.1063/1.4768456.

```
Lampe, M., Joyce, G., Roecker, T. B., Zhdanov, S. K., Ivlev, A. V., & Morfill, G. E.
```*Ion distribution function in a plasma with uniform electric field*. United States. doi:10.1063/1.4768456.

```
Lampe, M., Joyce, G., Roecker, T. B., Zhdanov, S. K., Ivlev, A. V., and Morfill, G. E. Thu .
"Ion distribution function in a plasma with uniform electric field". United States. doi:10.1063/1.4768456.
```

```
@article{osti_22068937,
```

title = {Ion distribution function in a plasma with uniform electric field},

author = {Lampe, M. and Joyce, G. and Roecker, T. B. and Zhdanov, S. K. and Ivlev, A. V. and Morfill, G. E.},

abstractNote = {For a homogeneous partially ionized plasma subject to a uniform electric field E, several methods and models are used to calculate the distribution function f(v) for ions subject to charge-exchange collisions. The exact solution for f(v), based on the energy-dependent cross section for Ar, is obtained by Monte Carlo (MC) simulation. This is compared to the MC results for f(v), based on either a constant cross section {sigma} or a constant collision frequency {nu}. The constant-{sigma} model is found to accurately represent f(v) for any value of E, whereas the constant-{nu} results are qualitatively incorrect for large fields. Under the constant-{sigma} assumption, a simple, easily solvable ordinary differential equation is obtained which reproduces the MC results with good accuracy.},

doi = {10.1063/1.4768456},

journal = {Physics of Plasmas},

issn = {1070-664X},

number = 11,

volume = 19,

place = {United States},

year = {2012},

month = {11}

}