Experiments on the propagation of ion acoustic solitons that propagate in a positive ion–negative ion plasma are described. The solitons are launched from a solid metal disk to which a small negative step voltage [Δφ≊−2(Te/e) V] is applied. The mechanism for the excitation of the soliton, the identification of the fast and the slow modes in such a plasma, and the observation of a transient sheath are presented.

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