A Caltech Library Service

Plasma Diagnosis by Means of Photon-Electron Scattering


Schwarz, Steven Emanuel (1964) Plasma Diagnosis by Means of Photon-Electron Scattering. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/7Y36-RP09.


When a pulse of intense light from a giant-pulse laser passes through a plasma, a very small fraction of the light is scattered out of the beam as a result of ("Thomson") scattering by free electrons. Under suitable conditions the intensity of the scattered light is proportional to the density of free electrons, while its spectral distribution is related to the velocity distribution of the free electrons through the Doppler formula. Theoretical considerations, relating to the conditions of validity of the method, are discussed. Various mechanisms which could interfere with the diagnostic technique are mentioned and their importance considered. Design considerations for diagnostic experiments are then taken up, and signal-to-noise ratios calculated. An apparatus for conducting scattering experiments has been constructed. Phenomenological checks indicate that the observed scattering is by free electrons. Measurements conducted at various times in the development of an afterglow plasma indicate Doppler broadening of the scattered light; the broadening disappears as the electrons cool during the first three microseconds of the afterglow. Measurements of electron density as a function of time are made in the afterglow, and are calibrated by means of Rayleigh scattering from gas at a known pressure. Two unexpected laser-plasma interactions have been observed. The first is designated as "induced plasma luminosity" and the second as "giant scattering." Both effects appear to be related to the presence of hydrocarbon impurities in the gas.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Electrical Engineering and Physics)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Electrical Engineering
Minor Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • George, Nicholas A.
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:20 May 1964
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-10042002-124348
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:3893
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:04 Oct 2002
Last Modified:25 Jan 2024 00:43

Thesis Files

PDF (Schwarz_s_1964.pdf) - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page