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Transverse ion acceleration and ion conic formation in a divergent-field laboratory plasma

Published Web Location Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

The results of laboratory experiments at the University of California at Irvine are presented in which multidimensional ion velocity distributions in the presence of radio-frequency (RF) waves and a spatially divergent external magnetic field are observed. A plasma volume is subjected to either local or nonlocal electrostatic turbulence, which in turn is responsible for accelerating the ions transverse to the confining magnetic field. The ions flow away from the source of turbulence in a spatially decreasing magnetic field, where the μ∇B force and magnetic-moment conservation work to distort the heated distribution. Laser-induced-fluorescence (LIF) signals, measured downstream from the plasma source with the aid of optical tomography techniques, reveal substantial ion heating and conic formation. © 1995 American Institute of Physics.

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