Quasilinear dynamics of a cloud of hot electrons propagating through a plasma with decreasing density and temperature

Foroutan, G.; Khalilpour, H.; Moslehi-Fard, M.; Li, B.; Robinson, P. A.
December 2008
Physics of Plasmas;Dec2008, Vol. 15 Issue 12, p122904
Academic Journal
The effects of plasma inhomogeneities on the propagation of a cloud of hot electrons through a cold background plasma and generation of Langmuir waves are investigated using numerical simulations of the quasilinear equations. It is found that in a plasma with decreasing density the quasilinear relaxation of the electron distribution in velocity space is accelerated and the levels of the generated Langmuir waves are enhanced. The magnitude of the induced emission rate is increased and its maximum value moves to lower velocities. Due to density gradient the height of plateau shows an increase at small distances and a corresponding decrease at large distances. It is also found that in a plasma with decreasing temperature, the relaxation of the beam is retarded, the spectral density of Langmuir waves is broadened, and the height of the plateau decreases below its value in a uniform plasma. In the presence of both density and temperature gradients, at given position, the height and upper boundary of the plateau and the level of Langmuir waves are all increased at small velocities. The spatial expansion of the beam is increased by the plasma inhomogeneities, but its average velocity of propagation decreases. Initially, at a given position, the velocity at the upper boundary of the plateau is smaller in the presence of the density gradient than in the uniform plasma but the reverse is true at longer times. Due to temperature gradient, at large times and small distances, the upper boundary of the plateau is increased above its value in the uniform plasma. Because of fast relaxation, the value of the lower boundary of the plateau in the plasma with decreasing density is always less than its value in the uniform plasma. It is found that the local velocity of the beam decreases when the density gradient is present. The local velocity spread of the beam remains unchanged during the propagation of the beam in the uniform plasma, but increases in the presence of inhomogeneities.


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