Abstract

A quantitative treatment of the error due to fluctuations of electron thermal energy in the measurement of mean electron temperature by the line-intensity ratio is given. We find that whatever the functional form of the fluctuations may be, there is an optimum ratio ΔE/kTe = 2 for which this error varies as the fourth power of the fluctuation amplitude and is consequently small. For all other values of ΔE/kTe, the temperature error due to fluctuations is quadratic in the fluctuation amplitude, and rapidly approaches contemporary estimates of errors due to other causes as the relative amplitude of the temperature fluctuations increases toward 50%.

© 1966 Optical Society of America

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