Existence and Behavior of Waves in a Low Density Non-Neutral Plasma Trap.
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According to current theory, there should be no plasma waves in a trap that has a sufficiently low plasma density. The trap at Occidental College was constructed with the assumption that its dimensions and density would eliminate any plasma waves. The advantage of such an apparatus is that you can focus on the transport effects without the complications caused by plasma waves. The goal of my project was to verify the absence of these waves in our apparatus. From the obtained data, we can conclude that there is definitely some wave-like behavior occurring inside the trap. This is quite a surprising result as it apparently disagrees with the current theory on low-density plasmas. At this point, further theoretical and experimental research is needed to bridge this apparent gap between theory and experiment.