Citation
Sánchez Arriaga, Gonzalo and Sanmartín Losada, Juan Ramón
(2012).
Relativistic current collection by a cylindrical Langmuir probe.
"Physics of Plasmas", v. 19
(n. 6);
pp..
ISSN 1070-664X.
Abstract
The current I to a cylindrical Langmuir probe with a bias Φp satisfying β≡eΦp/mec2∼O(1) is discussed. The probe is considered at rest in an unmagnetized plasma composed of electrons and ions with temperatureskTe∼kTi≪mec2. For small enough radius, the probe collects the relativistic orbital-motion-limited (OML) current I OML , which is shown to be larger than the non-relativistic result; the OML current is proportional to β1/2 and β3/2 in the limits β≪1 and β≫1, respectively. Unlike the non-relativistic case, the electron density can exceed the unperturbed density value. An asymptotic theory allowed to compute the maximum radius of the probe to collect OML current, the sheath radius for probe radius well below maximum and how the ratio I/I OML drops below unity when the maximum radius is exceeded. A numerical algorithm that solves the Vlasov-Poisson system was implemented and density and potential profiles presented. The results and their implications in a possible mission to Jupiter with electrodynamic bare tethers are discussed density value. An asymptotic theory allowed to compute the maximum radius of the probe to collect OML current, the sheath radius for probe radius well below maximum and how the ratio I/IOML drops below unity when the maximum radius is exceeded. A numerical algorithm that solves the Vlasov-Poisson system was implemented and density and potential profiles presented. The results and their implications in a possible mission to Jupiter with electrodynamic bare tethers are discussed.