Dependence of the confinement time of an electron plasma on the magnetic field in a quadrupole Penning trap
Department of Physics, Bangalore University, Bangalore, India
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Accepted: 1 August 2017
Published online: 15 August 2017
A quadrupole Penning trap is used to confine electrons in weak magnetic fields. Perturbations due to space charge and imperfections in the trap geometry, as well as collisions with the background gas molecules, lead to loss of the electrons from the trap. We present in this work the results on measurements of the electron confinement time and its dependence on the magnetic field in a quadrupolar Penning trap. We describe a method to measure the confinement time of an electron cloud under weak magnetic fields (0.01 T - 0.1 T). This time is found to scale as τ∝B1.41 in variance with the theoretically expected confinement time that scales as τ∝B2 for trapped electrons that are lost through collisions with the neutrals present in the trap. A measurement of the expansion rate of the electron plasma in the trap through controlled variation of the trap voltage, yields expansion times that depend on the energy of escaping electrons. This is found to vary in our case in the scaling range B 0.32 to B 0.43. Distorting the geometry of the trap, results in a marked change in the confinement time’s dependence on the magnetic field. The results indicate that the confinement time of the electron cloud in the trap is limited by both, effects of collisions and perturbations that result in the plasma loss through expansion in the trap.
Key words: Non-neutral plasma / Confinement time / Anharmonicity / Quadrupole penning trap
© Dyavappa et al.; licensee Springer., 2017
licensee Springer on behalf of EPJ. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.