Abstract

Cyclic or chainlike inelastic collision processes are invoked as an hypothesis to explain the grossly non-thermodynamic properties of energetic carbon and gas-fed carbon arcs confined by magnetic fields. Elastic collisions between the fast electrons (v > v+ but EE+) and the hot ions appear to be only about one-tenth as efficient a process for heating the ions as the proposed multiple inelastic collision process, which we call excitation-heating. In addition, a revised treatment of the rate of energy transfer from hot carbon ions to the very cold electrons (v < v+) reduces the conventional ion cooling rate by a factor of about 6.

© 1966 Optical Society of America

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