Plasma-the 4th State of Matter

10365 Words Nov 16th, 2010 42 Pages
Contents:
1. Introduction 1.1 Basic Physics of Charged Particles Moving In a Magnetic Filed 1.2 The Lorentz Force 1.3 The Hall Effect
2. What Is Plasma? 2.1 What is it that distinguishes plasma from ordinary gases? 2.2 Commercial Applications 2.3 Waves in Plasma
3. Nuclear Fusion & Fusion Reactors 3.1 The Lawson’s Criterion 3.2 Magnetic Field Confinement 3.3 Inertial Confinement
4. TFTR & Its Contributions to Engineering 4.1 Transport 4.2 Fusion Power Production 4.3 Alpha-Particles Physics 5. Plasma & Space 5.1 Solar Prominences 5.2 Plasma Rockets
6. Conclusion
7. References

Table of Variables & Constants:

ε0 Permittivity of free space k Coulomb Constant, 9×109 N m2 C-2  Efficiency τ Confinement time ω Angular
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This angular frequency is often known as the cyclotron frequency since charged particles circulate at this frequency in one type of accelerator named a cyclotron.

If a charged particle moves in a uniform magnetic field, with its velocity at some arbitrary angle to B, its path is a helix. For example, if the field is in the x-direction as in the figure shown below, there will be no component of force in the x-direction, and hence ax=0 and the x component of the velocity vx remains constant. In contrast, the magnetic force qv×B causes the components vy and vz to change with time, and therefore the resulting motion is a helix having its axis parallel to the magnetic field.

An even more interesting fact is when charged particles move in a nonuniform magnetic field. Here the motion is rather complex. For instance, in a magnetic field that is strong at the ends and weak in the middle, the particles will be fluctuating back and forth between the ending points, as in the figure shown below. Anyway, this magnetic field can be generated by two current loops going in the same direction. In this case, the charged particle will start spiraling along the magnetic field lines starting from one end till it
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