On the three-term approximation of the solution of the Boltzmann equation for weakly ionized gases☆
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Abstract:

AbstractIn this paper we discuss an improvement of the current technique of solution of the Boltzmann equation for weakly ionized gases in an electric field. The method is based on the usual expansion of the velocity distribution in spherical harmonics, but three terms of the expansion are retained instead of two. In the light of the results obtained for a particular interaction law between charged and neutral particles, a procedure is established which is consistent in the orders of approximation. This procedure requires an improvement of the degree of accuracy commonly used for the terms deriving from the Boltzmann collision operator. For this reason, the general expression of the isotropic collision operator correct to second order in the ion-neutral mass ratio is calculated. Finally, a new steady-state solution of the Boltzmann equation is obtained which is valid both for electrons and light ions in heavy gases.

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