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Computation of the electric and magnetic fields induced in a plasma created by ionization lasting a finite interval of time

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3 Author(s)
Banos, A., Jr. ; Dept. of Phys. & Electr. Eng., California Univ., Los Angeles, CA, USA ; Mori, W.B. ; Dawson, J.M.

S.C. Wilks et al. (1988) showed that when an infinite expanse of gas, carrying a linearly polarized electromagnetic wave, is instantly ionized, the initial wave is frequency upshifted. This phenomenon of frequency upconversion through flash ionization gives rise to steady-state transmitted and reflected electromagnetic waves and to a time-independent magnetic field. The case in which the final state of ionization is achieved not instantly but in a finite turn-on time, 0⩽tt 0, which is followed by the steady state, is studied. It is shown that the electric field is obtained from the one-dimensional Helmholtz equation, d2F(t)/dt2 02g(t)F( t)=0, if electrons are born at rest when they are created during ionization. As a result, the instantaneous frequency of the upshifted radiation is ω(t)=√g(t). The electric field can be solved exactly for specific choices of g(t). It is solved using WKB approximations for arbitrary g(t). The magnetic field is then found by integrating Faraday's law. It is found that the steady-state electric field amplitude depends on the steady-state value o f g(t) but does not depend on the ionization time t0. Conversely, the static magnetic field amplitude decreases with increasing turn-on time

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 1 )