Reviews of topical problems

Diffusion shocks in an inhomogeneous current-carrying collisional plasma

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a St. Petersburg State Polytechnical University, Politekhnicheskaya str. 29, St. Petersburg, 195251, Russian Federation

The evolution of density profiles in current-carrying inhomogeneous plasma is examined for evolution rates that are slow in comparison with acoustic and Alfven velocities. When the density profile is smooth in comparison with $l_{\mathrm{T}}=T/Ee$, diffusion is initially unimportant and evolution can often be described by the equation for a simple nonlinear wave. The breaking of this wave leads to the appearance of regions with a steep density gradient, i.e., diffusion shocks. The exception is ambipolar diffusion in simple plasma consisting of ions and electrons of a single kind and having constant mobilities. Examples of such stationary and moving shocks in ionospheric, gasdischarge, and semiconductor plasmas, and in electrolytes, are discussed.

PACS: 52.27.Cm, 52.25.Fi, 72.30.+q (all)
DOI: 10.1070/PU1985v028n06ABEH005202
Citation: Dmitriev A P, Rozhanskii V A, Tsendin L D "Diffusion shocks in an inhomogeneous current-carrying collisional plasma" Sov. Phys. Usp. 28 467–483 (1985)
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Оригинал: Дмитриев А П, Рожанский В А, Цендин Л Д «Диффузионные скачки в неоднородной столкновительной плазме с током» УФН 146 237–265 (1985); DOI: 10.3367/UFNr.0146.198506b.0237

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