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Electromagnetic Pulses at the Boundary of a Nonlinear Plasma


Satorius, Edgar Harry (1975) Electromagnetic Pulses at the Boundary of a Nonlinear Plasma. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/d6ww-a643.


This paper describes an investigation of the behavior of strong electromagnetic pulses at the boundary of a nonlinear, cold, collision-less, and uniform plasma. The nonlinearity considered here is due to the nonlinear terms in the fluid equation which is used to describe the plasma.

Two cases are studied. First, we consider the case where there is a voltage pulse applied across the plane boundary of a semi-infinite, nonlinear plasma. Two different voltage pulses are considered: a delta function pulse and a suddenly turned-on sinusoidal pulse. The resulting electromagnetic fields propagating in the nonlinear plasma are found in this case. In the second case, we consider the reflection of incident E-polarized and H-polarized, electromagnetic pulses at various angles of incidence from a nonlinear, semi-infinite plasma. Again, two forms of incident pulses are considered: a delta function pulse and a suddenly turned-on sinusoidal pulse. In case two, the reflected electromagnetic fields are found.

In both cases, the method used for finding the fields is to first solve the fluid equation (which describes the plasma) for the nonlinear conduction current in terms of the electric field using a perturbation method (since the nonlinear effects are assumed to be small). Next, this current is substituted into Maxwell's equations, and finally the electromagnetic fields which satisfy the boundary conditions are found.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Electrical Engineering
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Electrical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Papas, Charles Herach
Thesis Committee:
  • Papas, Charles Herach (chair)
Defense Date:26 June 1974
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Northrop CorporationUNSPECIFIED
Naval Undersea CenterUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:09172021-215240263
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:14366
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:22 Sep 2021 18:29
Last Modified:22 Sep 2021 18:30

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