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Basic Equations

  • A. D. M. Walker
Part of the Physics and Chemistry in Space Planetology book series (SPACE, volume 24)

Abstract

A plasma is a gas in which a substantial number of the molecules are ionized and show collective behavior. This collective behavior occurs provided that there are a sufficient number of particles within a sphere of radius equal to the Debye length,
$$\lambda _D = (\varepsilon _0 KT/Nq^2 )^{1/2}$$
(1.1)
All symbols are defined in Appendix D. On scales small compared with λD the individual particle behavior is important. On scales larger than λD the Coulomb potential of a single particle is screened by charges of the opposite sign. The unperturbed plasma is electrically neutral over length scales greater than λD. Although neutral, because of the ionization, a plasma is a conductor, and this leads to behavior which is far more complicated than that of an unionized gas. A plasma permeated by a background magnetic field is called a magnetoplasma.

Keywords

Volume Element Lorentz Force Cold Plasma Velocity Distribution Function Poynting Vector 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. D. M. Walker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of NatalDurbanSouth Africa

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