Incoherent Thomson scattering (ITS) provides a nonintrusive diagnostic for the determination of one-dimensional (1D) electron velocity distribution in plasmas. When the ITS spectrum is Gaussian its interpretation as a three-dimensional (3D) Maxwellian velocity distribution is straightforward. For more complex ITS line shapes derivation of the corresponding 3D velocity distribution and electron energy probability distribution function is more difficult. This article reviews current techniques and proposes an approach to making the transformation between a 1D velocity distribution and the corresponding 3D energy distribution. Previous approaches have either transformed the ITS spectra directly from a 1D distribution to a 3D or fitted two Gaussians assuming a Maxwellian or bi-Maxwellian distribution. Here, the measured ITS spectrum transformed into a 1D velocity distribution and the probability of finding a particle with speed within 0 and given value v is calculated. The differentiation of this probability function is shown to be the normalized electron velocity distribution function. (C) 2003 American Institute of Physics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)