Speed of Sound in Plasma
The speed of sound is the distance travelled per unit of time by a sound wave propagating through an elastic medium.
The speed of sound in a plasma for the common case that the electrons are hotter than the ions (but not too much hotter) is given here.
In contrast to a gas, the pressure and the density are provided by separate species, the pressure by the electrons and the density by the ions. The two are coupled through a fluctuating electric field.
|cs||speed of sound in plasma (m/s)|
|γ||adiabatic index (dimensionless)|
|Z||charge state (dimensionless)|
|Te||electron temperature (K)|
|mi||ion mass (kg)|