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Debye length in a kappa-distribution plasma

  • D. A. Bryant (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 March 2009

The Debye length, the characteristic shielding distance in a plasma, is, when the electrons and ions have Maxwellian velocity distributions, determined by the ratio of the temperatures of these components, to the electron (or ion) number density. Plasmas encountered in space, however, commonly exhibit non-Maxwellian velocity distributions, where the evaluation of an appropriate ‘temperature’ from an observed velocity distribution is no longer a recognized procedure. This paper evaluates the shielding distance for a plasma having a modified power-law, or kappa, family of distribuitons characteristic of some space plasmas.

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S. P. Christon , D. J. Williams , D. G. Mitchell , L. A. Frank & C. Y. Huang 1989 J. Geophys. Res. 94, 13409.

V. Formisano , G. Moreno , and F. Palmiotto 1976 J. Geophys. Res. 81, 1241.

M. P. Leubner 1983 J. Geophys. Res. 88, 469.

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