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Title: Spectroscopic measurement of high-frequency electric fields in the interaction of explosive debris plasma with magnetized background plasma

The collision-less transfer of momentum and energy from explosive debris plasma to magnetized background plasma is a salient feature of various astrophysical and space environments. While much theoretical and computational work has investigated collision-less coupling mechanisms and relevant parameters, an experimental validation of the results demands the measurement of the complex, collective electric fields associated with debris-background plasma interaction. Emission spectroscopy offers a non-interfering diagnostic of electric fields via the Stark effect. A unique experiment at the University of California, Los Angeles, that combines the Large Plasma Device (LAPD) and the Phoenix laser facility has investigated the marginally super-Alfvénic, quasi-perpendicular expansion of a laser-produced carbon (C) debris plasma through a preformed, magnetized helium (He) background plasma via emission spectroscopy. Spectral profiles of the He II 468.6 nm line measured at the maximum extent of the diamagnetic cavity are observed to intensify, broaden, and develop equally spaced modulations in response to the explosive C debris, indicative of an energetic electron population and strong oscillatory electric fields. The profiles are analyzed via time-dependent Stark effect models corresponding to single-mode and multi-mode monochromatic (single frequency) electric fields, yielding temporally resolved magnitudes and frequencies. The proximity of the measured frequencies to the expected electron plasmamore » frequency suggests the development of the electron beam-plasma instability, and a simple saturation model demonstrates that the measured magnitudes are feasible provided that a sufficiently fast electron population is generated during C debris–He background interaction. Potential sources of the fast electrons, which likely correspond to collision-less coupling mechanisms, are briefly considered.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22403326
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 12; 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; CARBON; COLLISIONS; ELECTRIC FIELDS; ELECTRON BEAMS; EMISSION SPECTROSCOPY; HELIUM; PLASMA; STARK EFFECT; TAIL ELECTRONS; TIME DEPENDENCE; UCLA