Measurements of current sheet canting in a pulsed electromagnetic accelerator

T. E. Markusic, E. Y. Choueiri, J. W. Berkery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The phenomenon of current sheet canting in pulsed electromagnetic accelerators is the departure of the plasma sheet (that carries the current) from a plane that is perpendicular to the electrodes to one that is skewed or tipped. Developing an understanding of current sheet canting is important because it can detract from the propellant sweeping capabilities of current sheets and, hence, negatively impact the overall efficiency. In the present study, photographic, magnetic, and laser-interferometric diagnostics were implemented to study current sheets in an experimental pulsed electromagnetic accelerator, using a variety of propellants and pressure levels. The interferometric measurements were used to quantify the canting angle during the stable phase of propagation. The canting angle was found to increase with the atomic mass of the propellant and the current sheet was always found to tilt such that the anode current attachment leads the cathode attachment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4847-4858
Number of pages12
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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