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Temporal relaxation of plasma electrons acted upon by direct current electric and magnetic fields

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2 Author(s)
Loffhagen, D. ; Inst. fur Niedertemp.-Plasmaphys., Greifswald, Germany ; Winkler, R.

On the basis of the time-dependent electron Boltzmann equation the temporal relaxation of the electrons in the presence of electric and magnetic fields in weakly ionized, collision dominated plasmas has been studied. The relaxation process is treated by using a strict time-dependent two-term approximation of the velocity distribution function expansion in spherical harmonics. A new technique for solving the time-dependent electron kinetic equation in this two-term approximation for arbitrary angles between the electric and magnetic fields has been developed and the main aspects of the efficient solution method are presented. Using this new approach and starting from steady-state plasmas under the action of time-independent electric fields only, the impact of superimposed DC magnetic fields on the electron relaxation is analyzed with regard to the control of a neon plasma. The investigations reveal an important effect of the magnetic field on the temporal relaxation process. In particular, it has been found that the relaxation time of the electron component with respect to the establishment of steady-state can be enlarged by some orders of magnitude when increasing the magnetic field strength

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 5 )