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Title: Final Technical Report for NSF/DOE partnership grant 1004284/ER54905/SC0004660; 2011- 2013

Research has been performed on two topics: (1) Nonlinear time-dependent phenomena in the regime of electron magnetohydrodynamics (EMHD). (2) Plasma structures forming ”bubbles”. The latter are regions of localized density depletions or enhancements separated from the ambient plasma by sheaths or double layers. Three-dimensional magnetic null points can also be considered as ”magnetic bubbles”. Nonlinear EMHD fields are generated by pulsed magnetic loops. The magnetic field varies in time faster than an ion cyclotron period, hence interacts only with electrons. Space charge electric fields are created when magnetic forces try to separate electrons from ions. Electric and magnetic forces nearly balance to keep the plasma quasi neutral. This leads to rotational electron motions, i.e. Hall currents and associated magnetic perturbations. When the time scale falls between the ion and electron cyclotron period the magnetic perturbation is convected in the whistler mode. When the time-varying magnetic field exceeds the background magnetic field the whistler mode becomes highly nonlinear since its properties depend on the total magnetic field. When the time-varying magnetic field creates magnetic null points or null lines EMHD breaks down. Electrons can be accelerated in null lines which dissipated magnetic energy like in magnetic reconnection. Energized electrons with anisotropicmore » distributions create secondary whistler instabilities. These effects have been observed in field topologies resembling spheromaks and field-reversed configurations (FRCs). The whistler mode propagation near magnetic nulls is not trivial when the field gradients and wavelength are comparable. Ray tracing is inappropriate when the WKB approximation breaks down. Experiments have been started to map wave propagation on curved field lines with null points. Initial results show that whistlers in highly nonuniform fields have highly oblique phase velocities but the energy flow remains dominantly along the field. Density bubbles are created by anode discharges, typically forming spherical ”fireballs” bounded by a double layer. In a magnetized plasma the shape becomes cylindrical, in nonuniform magnetic fields many asymmetric fireball shapes are possible. Due to electron energization the fireball plasma has higher density and temperature than the ambient plasma. The double layer can also be produced by a high transparency positively biased grid. Instabilities arise from the electron transit through the plasma bubble and the double layer. When a permanent magnet is biased positively the electrons perform ExB drifts in the equatorial plane between the poles. Electron drift modes are excited with a high spectral contents. Similarly, a negatively biased magnet produces a disk-shaped plasma bubble. The cold magnet emits secondary electrons due to the impact of energetic ions. Such magnetron discharges exhibit a variety of instabilities which affect the cross-field transport and sputtering applications. This report will summarize the main effects observed and provide references to more detailed publications.« less
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. University of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; electron magnetohydrodynamics , Nonlinear time-dependent phenomena, magnetic bubbles