Electric field enhanced conductivity in strongly coupled dense metal plasma

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Abstract

Experimentation with dense metal plasma has shown that non-negligible increases in plasma conductivity are induced when a relatively low electric field (∼6 kV/cm) is applied. Existing conductivity models assume that atoms, electrons, and ions all exist in thermal equilibrium. This assumption is invalidated by the application of an appreciable electric field, where electrons are accelerated to energies comparable to the ionization potential of the surrounding atoms. Experimental data obtained from electrically exploded silver wire is compared with a finite difference hydrodynamic model that makes use of the SESAME equation-of-state database. Free electron generation through both thermal and electric field excitations, and their effect on plasma conductivity are applied and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number060702
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Volume19
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2012

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