Nonlocal, Collisionless Electron Transport in Plasmas
Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
August 2-4 2005
In low-pressure plasmas the electron mean free path can be larger or comparable to the plasma characteristic inhomogeneity scale. Therefore, the electron transport is collisionless and nonlocal, since an electron can traverse a significant distance between collisions and sample different values of electric field along its way. As a result, the electron current is determined not by the local electric field, but by the entire profile of the electric field. Also for inhomogeneous electric fields another mechanism of heating or power dissipation is possible, which is strikingly different from collisional one; namely collisionless heating is determined by the wave-particle resonances and independent of the collision frequency. Moreover, the electrons are frequently not in equilibrium with themselves, and as a result, the electron energy distribution functions in such plasmas are typically non-Maxwellian. This property makes plasmas a remarkable tool for plasma applications, including plasma processing, lighting, plasma sources, etc.
A very productive workshop "Electron kinetics and Applications of Glow Discharges" was held in 1997 in St. Petersburg. That workshop discussed the plasma self-organization in gas discharges and resulted in a broad dissemination of existing developments in theory, diagnostics and modeling of non-equilibrium electron kinetics in glow discharges. The proposed workshop at PPPL during the Summer of 2005 will update and summarize progress since 1997 and will discuss future directions in the field.
Another important goal of the workshop is to bridge high- and low-temperature plasma communities. Both communities have developed many useful tools little known outside their own communities. The proposed duration of the workshop is 2-3 days in August 2005, and the estimated number of participants 30.
Some specific topics within the scope of this workshop are:
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