Analytic theory of the Rayleigh-Taylor instability in a uniform density plasma-filled ion diode

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The J-vector x B-vector forces associated with the surface current of a plasma-filled ion diode will accelerate this plasma fill toward the anode surface. It is well known that such a configuration with a high I is susceptible to the hydromagnetic Rayleigh-Taylor instability in certain geometries. A number of ion diode plasma sources have been proposed, most of which have a falling density going away from the wall. A somewhat more unstable case, however, is that of uniform density. In this report we attempt to establish an upper limit on this effect with a simple analytic model in which a ... continued below

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Hussey, T.W. & Payne, S.S. April 1, 1987.

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The J-vector x B-vector forces associated with the surface current of a plasma-filled ion diode will accelerate this plasma fill toward the anode surface. It is well known that such a configuration with a high I is susceptible to the hydromagnetic Rayleigh-Taylor instability in certain geometries. A number of ion diode plasma sources have been proposed, most of which have a falling density going away from the wall. A somewhat more unstable case, however, is that of uniform density. In this report we attempt to establish an upper limit on this effect with a simple analytic model in which a uniform-density plasma is accelerated by the magnetic field anticipated in a PBFA-II diode. We estimate the number of linear e-foldings experienced by an unstable surface as well as the most damaging wavelength initial perturbation. This model, which accounts approximately for stabilization due to field diffusion, suggests that even with a uniform fill, densities in excess of a few 10/sup 15/ are probably not damaged by the instability. In addition, even lower densities might be tolerated if perturbations near the most damaging wavelength can be kept very small.

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NTIS, PC A02/MF A01; 1.

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  • Other Information: Portions of this document are illegible in microfiche products. Original copy available until stock is exhausted

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  • Other: DE87009535
  • Report No.: SAND-87-1120
  • Grant Number: AC04-76DP00789
  • DOI: 10.2172/6488379 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 6488379
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1211905

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

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  • April 1, 1987

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • July 5, 2018, 11:11 p.m.

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  • Aug. 2, 2018, 2:38 p.m.

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Hussey, T.W. & Payne, S.S. Analytic theory of the Rayleigh-Taylor instability in a uniform density plasma-filled ion diode, report, April 1, 1987; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1211905/: accessed January 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.