Persistent subplasma-frequency kinetic electrostatic electron nonlinear waves

Johnston, T. W.; Tyshetskiy, Y.; Ghizzo, A.; Bertrand, P.
April 2009
Physics of Plasmas;Apr2009, Vol. 16 Issue 4, p042105
Academic Journal
Driving a one-dimensional collisionless Maxwellian (Vlasov) plasma with a sufficiently strong longitudinal ponderomotive driver for a sufficiently long time results in a self-sustaining nonsinusoidal wave train with well-trapped electrons even for frequencies well below the plasma frequency, i.e., in the plasma wave spectral gap. Typical phase velocities of these waves are somewhat above the electron thermal velocity. This new nonlinear wave is being termed a kinetic electrostatic electron nonlinear (KEEN) wave. The drive duration must exceed the bounce period Ï„B of the trapped electrons subject to the drive, as calculated from the drive force and the linear plasma response to the drive. For a given wavenumber a wide range of KEEN wave frequencies can be readily excited. The basic KEEN structure is essentially kinetic, with the trapped electron density variation being almost completely shielded by the free electrons, leaving just enough net charge to support the wave.


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