A comprehensive textbook and reference for the study of the physics of ionized gases The intent of this book is to provide deep physical insight into the behavior of gases containing atoms and molecules from which one or more electrons have been ionized. The study of these so-called plasmas begins with an overview of plasmas as they are found in nature and created in the laboratory. This serves as a prelude to a comprehensive study of plasmas, beginning with low temperature and "ideal" plasmas and extending to radiation and particle transport phenomena, the response of plasmas to external fields, and an insightful treatment of plasma waves, plasma instabilities, nonlinear phenomena in plasmas, and the study of plasma interactions with surfaces. In all cases, the emphasis is on a clear and unified understanding of the basic physics that underlies all plasma phenomena. Thus, there are chapters on plasma behavior from the viewpoint of atomic and molecular physics, as well as on the macroscopic phenomena involved in physical kinetics of plasmas and the transport of radiation and of charged particles within plasmas.
With this grounding in the fundamental physics of plasmas, the notoriously difficult subjects of nonlinear phenomena and of instabilities in plasmas are then treated with comprehensive clarity.
BORIS M. SMIRNOV heads a division of the Institute for High Temperatures of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He is the author of approximately 30 books and 300 research articles in plasma physics, atomic physics, and atomic clusters. He is Associate Editor of the journal Russian Physics-Uspekhi and Vice Chairman of the Russian Council on Low Temperature Plasma.
Preface. Plasma in Nature and in Laboratory Systems. Statistics of a Weakly Ionized Gas. The Ideal Plasma. Elementary Plasma Process. Processes Involving Charged Particles. Rarefied and Dense Plasmas. Radiative Processes in Weakly Ionized Gases. Excited Atoms in Gases and Plasmas. Physical Kinetics of Gases and Plasmas. Transport Phenomena in Gases. Charged-Particle Transport in Gases. Small Particles in Plasmas. Plasma in External Fields. Instabilities of Excited Gases. Waves in Plasmas. Plasma Instabilities. Nonlinear Phenomena in Plasmas. Ionization Instabilities and Plasma Structures. Atmospheric Plasmas. Gas-Discharge Plasmas. Plasma Interactions with Surfaces. Conclusions. Appendices. Bibliography. Index.