Laboratory Experiments on Plasma Expansion

  1. Tom Chang,
  2. M. K. Hudson,
  3. J. R. Jasperse,
  4. R. G. Johnson,
  5. P. M. Kintner and
  6. M. Schulz
  1. Chung Chan

Published Online: 21 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM038p0249

Ion Acceleration in the Magnetosphere and Ionosphere

Ion Acceleration in the Magnetosphere and Ionosphere

How to Cite

Chan, C. (1986) Laboratory Experiments on Plasma Expansion, in Ion Acceleration in the Magnetosphere and Ionosphere (eds T. Chang, M. K. Hudson, J. R. Jasperse, R. G. Johnson, P. M. Kintner and M. Schulz), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM038p0249

Author Information

  1. The Center for Electromagnetics Research and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1986

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900636

Online ISBN: 9781118664216



  • Magnetosphere—Congresses;
  • Ionosphere—Congresses;
  • Ion flow dynamics—Congresses;
  • Space plasmas—Congresses


Laboratory experiments have been designed to study the expansion of a plasma into a vacuum, along and across magnetic field lines. It was shown that the ambipolar electric field and the existence of a moving double layer front provided very effective ion acceleration. The presence of a longitudinal magnetic field was observed to induce azimuthal E×B motion on the expanding plasma. For the expansion across magnetic field lines, a polarization electric field was developed to retard the plasma flow. The implication of these results to plasma expansion processes in space was also discussed.