National Academies Press: OpenBook

Plasma Science: From Fundamental Research to Technological Applications (1995)

Chapter:Data Acquisition and Processing

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Suggested Citation:"Data Acquisition and Processing." National Research Council. 1995. Plasma Science: From Fundamental Research to Technological Applications. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4936.

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BASIC PLASMA EXPERIMENTS 143 FIGURE 8.3 The oscillatory part of the ion velocity distribution, associated with a wave in a magnetized plasma, is shown as a function of the velocity of the ions. The data (open symbols) were measured nonperturbatively at a point in the plasma with recently developed laser-induced fluorescence techniques. For comparison, the solid curve shows the theoretical prediction, assuming an ideal plane wave. Experimental techniques such as the one illustrated are now capable of directly studying detailed aspects of plasma behavior, including plasma flows, chaotic particle motions in response to large-amplitude waves, and particle transport due to waves and turbulence. (Courtesy of F. Skiff, University of Maryland.) Data Acquisition and Processing Improvements in data acquisition systems and probe drives now allow the recording of fully three-dimensional data sets with good spatial and temporal resolution. Such data are now routinely displayed with relatively inexpensive, powerful workstations. The current state of the technology permits the exploration of many important physical processes that are of fundamental interest to basic plasma physics and are relevant to a variety of applications.

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Plasma science is the study of ionized states of matter. This book discusses the field's potential contributions to society and recommends actions that would optimize those contributions. It includes an assessment of the field's scientific and technological status as well as a discussion of broad themes such as fundamental plasma experiments, theoretical and computational plasma research, and plasma science education.

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