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This Week at Physics

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Event Number 4282

  Monday, November 14th, 2016

Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminar
Continuum-kinetic approach to sheath simulations
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Bhuvana Srinavasan, Virginia Tech
Abstract: When plasma interacts with a surface, a plasma sheath forms at the
interface, which is typically a region of net positive space charge. Ions, accelerated by the electric field in the sheath region, and hot electrons are known to cause emission from the surface. This can have consequences for devices such as Hall thrusters as electron emissions can increase the rate of erosion of the electrodes affecting performance and longevity of the thrusters – an important concern for space-bound missions. The length-scale of sheaths is small in comparison to the undisturbed plasma (on order of the Debye length)yet the sheath has a global effect on plasma and needs to be included self-consistently in computer simulations. This usually means resolving the Debye length and the plasma oscillation frequency, which makes global and complex simulations extremely demanding in terms of the computational cost. Simulations of classical sheaths using a continuum kinetic model are presented where we directly solve the
Boltzmann equation for each of the ion and electron species using the discontinuous Galerkin method.
Host: Carl Sovinec
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