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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2010 Apr;81(4 Pt 2):046403. Epub 2010 Apr 22.

Benchmark calculations of nonconservative charged-particle swarms in dc electric and magnetic fields crossed at arbitrary angles.

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ARC Centre for Antimatter-Matter Studies, School of Engineering and Physical Science, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4810, Australia.


A multiterm solution of the Boltzmann equation has been developed and used to calculate transport coefficients of charged-particle swarms in gases under the influence of electric and magnetic fields crossed at arbitrary angles when nonconservative collisions are present. The hierarchy resulting from a spherical-harmonic decomposition of the Boltzmann equation in the hydrodynamic regime is solved numerically by representing the speed dependence of the phase-space distribution function in terms of an expansion in Sonine polynomials about a Maxwellian velocity distribution at an internally determined temperature. Results are given for electron swarms in certain collisional models for ionization and attachment over a range of angles between the fields and field strengths. The implicit and explicit effects of ionization and attachment on the electron-transport coefficients are considered using physical arguments. It is found that the difference between the two sets of transport coefficients, bulk and flux, resulting from the explicit effects of nonconservative collisions, can be controlled either by the variation in the magnetic field strengths or by the angles between the fields. In addition, it is shown that the phenomena of ionization cooling and/or attachment cooling/heating previously reported for dc electric fields carry over directly to the crossed electric and magnetic fields. The results of the Boltzmann equation analysis are compared with those obtained by a Monte Carlo simulation technique. The comparison confirms the theoretical basis and numerical integrity of the moment method for solving the Boltzmann equation and gives a set of well-established data that can be used to test future codes and plasma models.


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