Electrostatic waves in a collision-free unmagnetized plasma of electrons with fixed ions are investigated for electron equilibrium velocity distribution functions that deviate slightly from Maxwellian. Of interest are undamped waves that are the small amplitude limit of nonlinear excitations, such as electron acoustic waves (EAWs). A deviation consisting of a small plateau, a region with zero velocity derivative over a width that is a very small fraction of the electron thermal speed, is shown to give rise to new undamped modes, which here are named corner modes. The presence of the plateau turns off Landau damping and allows oscillations with phase speeds within the plateau. These undamped waves are obtained in a wide region of the ðk;xRÞ plane (xR being the real part of the wave frequency and k the wavenumber), away from the well-known “thumb curve” for Langmuir waves and EAWs based on the Maxwellian. Results of nonlinear Vlasov-Poisson simulations that corroborate the existence of these modes are described. It is also shown that deviations caused by fattening the tail of the distribution shift roots off of the thumb curve toward lower k-values and chopping the tail shifts them toward higher k-values. In addition, a rule of thumb is obtained for assessing how the existence of a plateau shifts roots off of the thumb curve. Suggestions are made for interpreting experimental observations of electrostatic waves, such as recent ones in nonneutral plasmas.

Undamped electrostatic plasma waves

CALIFANO, FRANCESCO;PEGORARO, FRANCESCO;
2012

Abstract

Electrostatic waves in a collision-free unmagnetized plasma of electrons with fixed ions are investigated for electron equilibrium velocity distribution functions that deviate slightly from Maxwellian. Of interest are undamped waves that are the small amplitude limit of nonlinear excitations, such as electron acoustic waves (EAWs). A deviation consisting of a small plateau, a region with zero velocity derivative over a width that is a very small fraction of the electron thermal speed, is shown to give rise to new undamped modes, which here are named corner modes. The presence of the plateau turns off Landau damping and allows oscillations with phase speeds within the plateau. These undamped waves are obtained in a wide region of the ðk;xRÞ plane (xR being the real part of the wave frequency and k the wavenumber), away from the well-known “thumb curve” for Langmuir waves and EAWs based on the Maxwellian. Results of nonlinear Vlasov-Poisson simulations that corroborate the existence of these modes are described. It is also shown that deviations caused by fattening the tail of the distribution shift roots off of the thumb curve toward lower k-values and chopping the tail shifts them toward higher k-values. In addition, a rule of thumb is obtained for assessing how the existence of a plateau shifts roots off of the thumb curve. Suggestions are made for interpreting experimental observations of electrostatic waves, such as recent ones in nonneutral plasmas.
Valentini, F; Perrone, D; Califano, Francesco; Pegoraro, Francesco; Veltri, P; Morrison, Pj; O’Neil, Tm
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/204518
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