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Abstract

In our investigation of breakdown waves, we apply a one-dimensional, three-component, steady-state fluid model. The wave is considered to be shock fronted and the electrons are assumed to be the main element in propagation of the wave. In our fluid model, the electron gas temperature is assumed to be large enough to sustain the wave motion. Our set of fluid equations is composed of the equations of conservation of mass, momentum and energy plus the Poisson’s equation. This investigation involves breakdown waves for which a large current exist in the vicinity of the wave front. Existence of current behind the wave front alters the equation of conservation of energy and also the Poisson’s equation. Therefore, the boundary conditions at the shock front will change as well. For current bearing breakdown waves we will derive the appropriate boundary condition for electron temperature, and using the new boundary condition, we will integrate the fluid dynamical equations through the dynamical transition region of the wave

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