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Title: Stochastic and deterministic causes of streamer branching in liquid dielectrics

Streamer branching in liquid dielectrics is driven by stochastic and deterministic factors. The presence of stochastic causes of streamer branching such as inhomogeneities inherited from noisy initial states, impurities, or charge carrier density fluctuations is inevitable in any dielectric. A fully three-dimensional streamer model presented in this paper indicates that deterministic origins of branching are intrinsic attributes of streamers, which in some cases make the branching inevitable depending on shape and velocity of the volume charge at the streamer frontier. Specifically, any given inhomogeneous perturbation can result in streamer branching if the volume charge layer at the original streamer head is relatively thin and slow enough. Furthermore, discrete nature of electrons at the leading edge of an ionization front always guarantees the existence of a non-zero inhomogeneous perturbation ahead of the streamer head propagating even in perfectly homogeneous dielectric. Based on the modeling results for streamers propagating in a liquid dielectric, a gauge on the streamer head geometry is introduced that determines whether the branching occurs under particular inhomogeneous circumstances. Estimated number, diameter, and velocity of the born branches agree qualitatively with experimental images of the streamer branching.
Authors:
;  [1] ; ; ;  [2]
  1. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 (United States)
  2. ABB Corporate Research, Västerås SE 72178 (Sweden)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22218231
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 114; Journal Issue: 6; Other Information: (c) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; BRANCHING RATIO; CHARGE CARRIERS; DIELECTRIC MATERIALS; ELECTRIC DISCHARGES; ELECTRONS; FLUCTUATIONS; LIQUIDS; PERTURBATION THEORY; PLASMA DENSITY; PLASMA IMPURITIES; STOCHASTIC PROCESSES; VELOCITY