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Temperature and Lifetime Measurements in the SSX Wind Tunnel

Department of Physics and Astronomy, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA 19081, USA
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Plasma 2018, 1(2), 229-241; https://doi.org/10.3390/plasma1020020
Received: 28 August 2018 / Revised: 26 September 2018 / Accepted: 3 October 2018 / Published: 8 October 2018
We describe ion and electron temperature measurements in the Swarthmore Spheromak Experiment (SSX) MHD wind tunnel with the goal of understanding limitations on the lifetime of our Taylor-state plasma. A simple model based on the equilibrium eigenvalue and Spitzer resistivity predicted the lifetime satisfactorily during the first phase of the plasma evolution. We measured an average T e along a chord by taking the ratio of the C I I I 97.7 nm to C I V 155 nm line intensities using a vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) monochromator. We also recorded local measurements of T e and n e using a double Langmuir probe in order to inform our interpretation of the VUV data. Our results indicated that the plasma decayed inductively during a large part of the evolution. Ion Doppler spectroscopy measurements suggested that ions cooled more slowly than would be expected from thermal equilibration with the electrons, which maintained a constant temperature throughout the lifetime of the plasma. View Full-Text
Keywords: taylor states; magnetized plasma; spectroscopy; plasma lifetime; equilibration rate; e-folding time taylor states; magnetized plasma; spectroscopy; plasma lifetime; equilibration rate; e-folding time
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Kaur, M.; Gelber, K.D.; Light, A.D.; Brown, M.R. Temperature and Lifetime Measurements in the SSX Wind Tunnel. Plasma 2018, 1, 229-241.

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