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Title: Structure of conducting channel of lightning

The spatial distribution of the plasma density in a lightning channel is studied theoretically. It is shown that the electric-field double layer is formed at the channel boundary. In this case, the electron temperature changes abruptly and ions are accelerated by the electric field of the double layer. The ion momentum flux density is close to the surrounding gas pressure. Cleaning of the channel from heavy particles occurs in particle-exchange processes between the plasma channel and the surrounding air. Hydrogen ions are accumulated inside the expanding channel from the surrounding air, which is enriched by hydrogen-contained molecules. In this case, the plasma channel is unstable and splits to a chain of equidistant bunches of plasma. The hydrogen-enrich bunches burn diffusely after recombination exhibiting the bead lightning behavior.
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Department of General and Applied Physics, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (State University), Dolgoprudny, 141700 Moscow Region (Russian Federation)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22227860
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 20; Journal Issue: 8; Other Information: (c) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ELECTRIC FIELDS; ELECTRON TEMPERATURE; FLUX DENSITY; HYDROGEN IONS; ION TEMPERATURE; LIGHTNING; MOLECULES; PLASMA DENSITY; PLASMA EXPANSION; PLASMA GUNS; RECOMBINATION; SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION