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Title: Nonquasineutral electron vortices in nonuniform plasmas

Electron vortices are observed in the numerical simulation of current carrying plasmas on fast time scales where the ion motion can be ignored. In plasmas with nonuniform density n, vortices drift in the B × ∇n direction with a speed that is on the order of the Hall speed. This provides a mechanism for magnetic field penetration into a plasma. Here, we consider strong vortices with rotation speeds V{sub ϕ} close to the speed of light c where the vortex size δ is on the order of the magnetic Debye length λ{sub B}=|B|/4πen and the vortex is thus nonquasineutral. Drifting vortices are typically studied using the electron magnetohydrodynamic model (EMHD), which ignores the displacement current and assumes quasineutrality. However, these assumptions are not strictly valid for drifting vortices when δ ≈ λ{sub B}. In this paper, 2D electron vortices in nonuniform plasmas are studied for the first time using a fully electromagnetic, collisionless fluid code. Relatively large amplitude oscillations with periods that correspond to high frequency extraordinary modes are observed in the average drift speed. The drift speed W is calculated by averaging the electron velocity field over the vorticity. Interestingly, the time-averaged W from these simulations matches very well with W from themore » much simpler EMHD simulations even for strong vortices with order unity charge density separation.« less
Authors:
; ; ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Plasma Physics Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, District of Columbia 20375 (United States)
  2. Engility Corporation, Chantilly, Virginia 20151 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22403262
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 11; 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; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; DEBYE LENGTH; ELECTRONS; PLASMA; VELOCITY; VORTICES