Experimental Observation of a Periodically Oscillating Plasma Sphere in a Gridded Inertial Electrostatic Confinement Device
The periodically oscillating plasma sphere (POPS) [D. C. Barnes and R. A. Nebel, Phys. Plasmas 5, 2498 (1998)., PHPAEN, 1070-664X, 10.1063/1.872933] oscillation has been observed in a gridded inertial electrostatic confinement device. In these experiments, ions in the virtual cathode exhibit resonant behavior when driven at the POPS frequency. Excellent agreement between the observed POPS resonance frequency and theoretical predictions has been observed for a wide range of potential well depths and for three different ion species. The results provide the first experimental validation of the POPS concept proposed by Barnes and Nebel [R. A. Nebel and D. C. Barnes, Fusion Technol. 34, 28 (1998)., FUSTE8, 0748-1896].