Numerical experiments on charging of a spherical body in a plasma with Maxwellian distributions of charged particles
Space Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences,
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Received in final form: 30 June 2017
Published online: 7 December 2017
New results of numerical simulation of collisionless plasma perturbation caused by a sphere absorbing electrons and ions are presented. Consideration is given to nonstationary phenomena accompanying the process of charging as well as to plasma steady state reached at long times. Corresponding asymptotic values of charges of the sphere and trapped-ion cloud around it have been found along with self-consistent electric field pattern depending on parameters of the unperturbed plasma. It is established that contribution of the trapped ions to screening of the charged sphere can be quite significant, so that the screening becomes essentially nonlinear in nature. A simple interconnection between the sphere radius, electron and ion Debye lengths has been revealed as the condition for maximum trapped-ion effect. Kinetic structure of the space charge induced in the plasma is discussed with relation to the specific form of the unperturbed charged particle distribution functions.
Key words: Plasma Physics
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag 2017