Debye_length

plasmapy.formulary.parameters.Debye_length(T_e: Unit('K'), n_e: Unit('1 / m3'))
Calculate the characteristic decay length for electric fields,

due to charge screening.

Aliases: lambdaD_

Parameters
  • T_e (Quantity) – Electron temperature.

  • n_e (Quantity) – Electron number density.

Returns

lambda_D – The Debye length in meters.

Return type

Quantity

Raises
Warns

UnitsWarning – If units are not provided, SI units are assumed.

Notes

The Debye length is the exponential scale length for charge screening and is given by

\[λ_D = \sqrt{\frac{ε_0 k_b T_e}{n_e e^2}}\]

for an electron plasma with nearly stationary ions.

The electrical potential will drop by a factor of \(1/e\) every Debye length.

Plasmas will generally be quasineutral on length scales significantly larger than the Debye length.

See also

Debye_number

Examples

>>> from astropy import units as u
>>> Debye_length(5e6*u.K, 5e15*u.m**-3)
<Quantity 0.002182... m>