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Title: Bounds imposed on the sheath velocity of a dense plasma focus by conservation laws and ionization stability condition

Experimental data compiled over five decades of dense plasma focus research are consistent with the snowplow model of sheath propagation, based on the hypothetical balance between magnetic pressure driving the plasma into neutral gas ahead and “wind pressure” resisting its motion. The resulting sheath velocity, or the numerically proportional “drive parameter,” is known to be approximately constant for devices optimized for neutron production over 8 decades of capacitor bank energy. This paper shows that the validity of the snowplow hypothesis, with some correction, as well as the non-dependence of sheath velocity on device parameters, have their roots in local conservation laws for mass, momentum, and energy coupled with the ionization stability condition. Both upper and lower bounds on sheath velocity are shown to be related to material constants of the working gas and independent of the device geometry and capacitor bank impedance.
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Physics Group, Bhabha Atomic Research Center, Mumbai (India)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22303607
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 9; Other Information: (c) 2014 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; APPROXIMATIONS; CAPACITORS; COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS; CONSERVATION LAWS; CORRECTIONS; NEUTRONS; PLASMA FOCUS; VELOCITY