Some Basic Plasma Phenomena

  • J. A. Bittencourt


One of the fundamental properties of a plasma is its tendency to maintain electric charge neutrality on a macroscopic scale under equilibrium conditions. When this macroscopic charge neutrality is disturbed, such as to temporarily produce a significant imbalance of charge, large coulomb forces come into play, which tend to restore the macroscopic charge neutrality. Since these coulomb forces cannot be naturally sustained in the plasma, it breaks into high-frequency electron plasma oscillations, which enable the plasma to maintain on the average its electrical neutrality.


Test Particle Debye Length Electron Number Density Electric Current Density Plasma Potential 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. A. Bittencourt
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute for Space Research (INPE)São José dos Campos, SPBrazil

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