Description: Collision strength, the measure of strength for a binary collision, hasn't been defined clearly. In practice, many physical arguments have been employed for the purpose and taken for granted. A scattering angle has been widely and intensively used as a measure of collision strength in plasma physics for years. The result of this is complication and unnecessary approximation in deriving some of the basic kinetic equations and in calculating some of the basic physical terms. The Boltzmann equation has a five-fold integral collision term that is complicated. Chandrasekhar and Spitzer's approaches to the linear Fokker-Planck coefficients have several approximations. An effective variable-change technique has been developed in this dissertation as an alternative to scattering angle as the measure of collision strength. By introducing the square of the reduced impulse or its equivalencies as a collision strength variable, many plasma calculations have been simplified. The five-fold linear Boltzmann collision integral and linearized Boltzmann collision integral are simplified to three-fold integrals. The arbitrary order linear Fokker-Planck coefficients are calculated and expressed in a uniform expression. The new theory provides a simple and exact method for describing the equilibrium plasma collision rate, and a precise calculation of the equilibrium relaxation time. It generalizes bimolecular collision reaction rate theory to a reaction rate theory for plasmas. A simple formula of high precision with wide temperature range has been developed for electron impact ionization rates for carbon atoms and ions. The universality of the concept of collision strength is emphasized. This dissertation will show how Arrhenius' chemical reaction rate theory and Thomson's ionization theory can be unified as one single theory under the concept of collision strength, and how many important physical terms in different disciplines, such as activation energy in chemical reaction theory, ionization energy in Thomson's ionization theory, and the Coulomb logarithm in ...
Date: May 2004
Creator: Chang, Yongbin
Item Type: Thesis or Dissertation