Current Sheet Evolution in a Parallel-plate Accelerator. A current sheet is observed to propagate from the breech of a parallel-plate accelerator and exit at a speed of approximately 35 km/s. Two things, among others, are evident in the movie. The first is that the current sheet severely tilts, with the anode attachment leading the cathode. Also, a dense blanket of luminous plasma on the cathode is seen to trail behind the current sheet. Both of these phenomena have negative implications for the performance of pulsed plasma thrusters and are discussed in http://alfven.princeton.edu/projects/cssx.htm
The movie, by Tom Markusic, was made from frames recorded with an Imacon framing camera. For more on the visualization technique and the movie, see "Visualization of Current Sheet Evolution in a Pulsed Plasma Accelerator," T.E. Markusic, J.W. Berkery, and E.Y. Choueiri, IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science Vol 33:2 Part 1 (December 2005) 526-529.