Debye Length

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Debye Length

A theoretical length which describes the maximum separation at which a given electron will be influenced by the electric field of a given positive ion. Sometimes referred to as the Debye shielding distance or plasma length. </dd>
It is well known that charged particles interact through their own electric fields. In addition, Debye has shown that the attractive force between an electron and ion which would otherwise exist for very large separations is indeed cut off for a critical separation due to the presence of other positive and negative charges in between. This critical separation or Debye length decreases for increased plasma density. </dd>


This article is based on NASA's Dictionary of Technical Terms for Aerospace Use