National Academies Press: OpenBook

Plasma Science: From Fundamental Research to Technological Applications (1995)

Chapter: SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS

« Previous: Pressure Standard in Ultrahigh-Vacuum Regime
Suggested Citation:"SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS." National Research Council. 1995. Plasma Science: From Fundamental Research to Technological Applications. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4936.
×
Page 59

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

NONNEUTRAL PLASMAS 59 The trapped electrons relax to a well-defined equilibrium state in which the average rotation frequency of the electron plasma is independent of radius. When a neutral gas is present, collisions between electrons and neutrals perturb the plasma and modify the rotation frequency and electron distribution function. By using a reference value for the elastic momentum transfer cross section of the neutrals, the neutral gas density consistent with the observed evolution of the electron plasma can be determined and used to develop a pressure standard. SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS In the past two decades, much progress has been made in the understanding of nonneutral and single-component plasmas. New experimental configurations have been discovered and exploited, leading to a better understanding of the underlying physical principles of plasma confinement, approach to equilibrium, and in some cases, mechanisms of plasma transport. There are many potential scientific and technological uses of such plasmas. These opportunities result, at least in part, from the excellent confinement properties that distinguish single-component plasmas from neutral plasmas and enable true thermal equilibrium states to be achieved. Therefore, plasmas with controlled departures from equilibrium also can be created. This allows a study of nonequilibrium plasma phenomena with a degree of precision unachievable in other plasma systems. Experiments in nonneutral plasmas, such as those described above, can be exploited to address forefront problems in atomic, molecular, and optical physics and in fluid dynamics, as well as in plasma physics. Consequently, it is expected that this will continue to be a vital and productive area in plasma physics research for the foreseeable future. Since these experiments can typically be done with a relatively modest expenditure of resources, they are ideally suited to a university setting. In addition to the intrinsic scientific value of research in nonneutral plasmas, there are many important applications of these plasmas. Several examples, discussed above and in Chapter 5, "Beams, Accelerators, and Coherent Radiation Sources," include beam-type microwave devices, such as gyrotrons and free-electron lasers, precision clocks and mass spectrometers, and future generations of ion sources. The progress in this area has benefited greatly by steady support from a dedicated program at the Office of Naval Research and support from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. It is the conclusion of the panel that research on nonneutral plasmas should be considered a vital part of a healthy and vigorous plasma science program in the United States in the next decade. Therefore, the panel recommends that continued strong support be given to research on nonneutral plasmas and to the development of technological applications.

Next: INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND »
Plasma Science: From Fundamental Research to Technological Applications Get This Book
×
Buy Paperback | $65.00 Buy Ebook | $54.99
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

Plasma science is the study of ionized states of matter. This book discusses the field's potential contributions to society and recommends actions that would optimize those contributions. It includes an assessment of the field's scientific and technological status as well as a discussion of broad themes such as fundamental plasma experiments, theoretical and computational plasma research, and plasma science education.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!