Analytical results for the resistive rayleigh-taylor instability in rail launcher accelerated plasmas

M. A. Huerta, J. L. Castillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


We obtain analytical results for the Rayleigh–Taylor instability in finite conductivity accelerated plasma arcs. Our results apply to the case vT2/al ≫ 1, where l is the plasma length, a is the acceleration, and VT is the thermal speed. This case is valid in electromagnetic rail launchers where the projectile mass is large compared to the plasma mass. The conductivity σ enters via a magnetic Reynolds number R = σμ(al3)1/2. The fourth order mode equation is solved analytically using an asymptotic WKB expansion in 1/R. We find the first order 1/R correction to the classical Rayleigh–Taylor dispersion relation for wavenumber K with 1 ≪ Kl ≪ R2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)610-615
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Transactions on Magnetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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