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A hydrodynamic model of vacuum arc plasmas

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1 Author(s)
Hantzsche, E. ; Inst. of Plasma Phys. Garching, Germany

The properties of plasmas expanding from cathode spots of vacuum arcs are calculated with a one-dimensional two-fluid model. The system of simplified hydrodynamic equations can be solved under stationary conditions using asymptotic power series. Although necessarily only an approximation, such analytical solutions prove to be advantageous compared with numerical integrations. All the plasma parameters are functions of (I/r)2/5 (current, I: distance, r). The three forces accelerating the ions to high kinetic energies are quantitatively calculable: the electric field, the ion pressure gradient, and the electron-ion friction. The potential is decreasing towards the anode, and the residence of the plasma is negative. The ion temperature reaches only about 35% of the electron temperature. Although only asymptotic, the solution is suited to describe the arc plasma in a sufficient manner all over the expansion region

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 1 )