The discharge mechanism in a coaxial-line microwave discharge tube that makes uniform plasma along the circumference of the tube has been analyzed. The analysis includes the skin effect of microwave penetration into the plasma and the equilibrium between generation and losses of the charged particles. It is shown that the radial distribution of electron density and electron temperature can be calculated from measured values of the radial distribution of light intensity. The electron density is about 10**1**2 cm** minus **3 near the center axis of the plasma column and is close to trapezoidal in shape. The electron temperature is about 4 multiplied by 10**4 K near the tube wall and decreases monotonically toward the center of the plasma column.
ASJC Scopus subject areas