Mach numbers for gases and plasmas in a convergent-divergent cascaded arc

K.T.A.L. Burm, W.J. Goedheer, D.C. Schram

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For a plasma, flowing through a cascaded arc channel with a varying cross-section, and flowing from a subsonic to a supersonic state, the sonic condition moves downstream and the plasma Mach number at the smallest cross section is less than one, although in case of a transonic isentropic gas flow the sonic condition is found at the smallest cross section. This shift in sonic condition is due to the lack of isentropic behavior of the plasma flow. Sources causing the anisentropy are viscosity, heat and ionization, of which ionization is vital for a plasma. It is found that the plasma Mach number is always lower than the corresponding gas Mach number. A quasi one-dimensional analysis and simulations with a two-dimensional plasma model, which support the analysis, are presented. © 1999 American Institute of Physics. © 1999 American Institute of Physics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2628-2635
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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