Landau damping in relativistic plasmas with power-law distributions and applications to solar wind electrons

Podesta, J. J.
December 2008
Physics of Plasmas;Dec2008, Vol. 15 Issue 12, p122902
Academic Journal
The relativistic plasma dispersion relation is derived for Langmuir waves in a spatially homogeneous unmagnetized plasma in which the electrons have an isotropic power-law distribution in momentum space. The theory is applied to the study of Langmuir waves in the quiescent solar wind near the orbit of the Earth assuming that the electron distribution function can be approximated as a power-law from thermal energies ∼10 eV to relativistic energies >=100 keV. Numerical solutions of the dispersion relation show that in the regime of weak Landau damping the phase speeds of the waves match the velocities of the high-energy particles, known in the solar wind literature as the superhalo, which lie in the range 0.09


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