An analysis based on the law of conservation of the z component of field and particle momentum in a thin annular magnetized monoenergetic electron beam in a two-section drift tube composed of tube segments with different radii (R1 < R2) allowed the critical injected beam current to be determined for which a virtual cathode, formed in the wider tube at the joint section, starts traveling through the narrower tube toward the beam injection region. A region behind the traveling virtual cathode features a "squeezed" single-flux state of the beam (corresponding to the "slow" left branch of the current characteristic, high charge density, but low relativistic factor). When the injected current decreases below a critical transition level (Iin < ITr), the virtual cathode returns to the initial position and restores the double-flux electron beam. This current is smaller than (Ilim1 + Ilim2)/2, and, depending on R2, varies from the limiting transport current for the narrower section (Ilim1) up to IF/2, where IF is the Fedosov current for this tube section.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)