Masters Theses

Keywords and Phrases

Gas breakdown; Plasma formation; Plasma modeling; Pulsed-inductive; Theta-pinch; Townsend Breakdown; Computational Physics


"Pulsed-inductive discharges are a common method of producing a plasma. They provide a mechanism for quickly and efficiently generating a large volume of plasma for rapid use and are seen in applications including propulsion, fusion power, and high-power lasers. However, some common designs see a delayed response time due to the plasma forming when the magnitude of the magnetic field in the device is at a minimum. New designs are difficult to evaluate due to the amount of time needed to construct a new geometry and the high monetary cost of changing the power generation circuit. To more quickly evaluate new designs and better understand the shortcomings of existing designs, two computational models have been developed for use in Mathematica. The first model uses a modified single-electron model to determine how the energy distribution in a system changes with regards to time and location. The second model uses Townsend breakdown to obtain the time rate of change of electron number density. This rate is then integrated to obtain an electron number density distribution that varies with regards to time and location. By analyzing the energy distribution and the density distribution, the approximate times and locations of initial plasma breakdown and bulk plasma formation can be predicted. The results from these codes are then compared to existing data to show their validity and shortcomings"--Abstract, page iii.


Rovey, Joshua L.
Han, Daoru Frank

Committee Member(s)

Hosder, Serhat


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Aerospace Engineering


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Fall 2018


x, 74 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 70-73).


© 2018 Zachary Aaron Gill, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 11418

Electronic OCLC #