Abstract

The radiation temperature of a plasma is defined for some one emission line as the temperature at which the ratio of the number of atoms in the upper or radiating state to that in the lower or final state is in equilibrium. This temperature is always less than the electron temperature but approaches it at high current densities. Two results first derived by de Groot are discussed in some detail. The first is that the maximum possible spectral intensity of the resonance radiation emitted by a plasma is the blackbody intensity at the electron temperature. The second is that the radiated line width is an approximately derivable function of the ratio of the penetration depth of the center of the line to the lamp diameter. A procedure is given for estimating the electron temperature at high current densities.

© 1956 Optical Society of America

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