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On the role of the plasma composition in the magnetic field evolution in plasma opening switches

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10 Author(s)
Osin, D. ; Fac. of Phys., Weizmann Inst. of Sci., Israel ; Doron, R. ; Arad, R. ; Tsigutkin, K.
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High spatial- and temporal-resolution spectroscopic methods are employed to perform detailed studies of the interaction between the propagating magnetic field and a multi-ion-species plasma. The experiment is performed in a plasma-opening-switch configuration, in which a 150-kA current of ∼400 ns duration is conducted through a plasma. Recent observations demonstrated a new phenomenon of simultaneous rapid magnetic field penetration into the heavy-ion plasma and specular reflection of the light-ion plasma, leading to ion-species separation. Additionally, noticeable inconsistencies between experimental results and theories were found. The current paper summarizes these recent results and discusses the aspect of the role of the plasma composition in the magnetic field evolution and ion dynamics. In order to systematically investigate the effect of the plasma composition, a method for producing plasmas with controllable compositions, based on spatial species separation and electrode heating, is presented. This method allows for achieving plasmas with varying proton-to-carbon ion ratios, however, at different electron densities. Measurements are described for studying the relation between the magnetic field propagation velocity and the plasma composition and density; however, this relation is not yet satisfactorily clear.

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:32 ,  Issue: 5 )