Dynamics of a beam of hot electrons propagating through a plasma in the presence of nonthermal electrons

Khalilpour, H.; Foroutan, G.; Moslehi-Fard, M.; Li, B.; Robinson, P. A.
July 2009
Physics of Plasmas;Jul2009, Vol. 16 Issue 7, p072901
Academic Journal
The dynamics of a beam of hot electrons traveling through a cold plasma and the generation of Langmuir waves are investigated in the presence of a nonthermal tail of electrons in the background distribution function. Using quasilinear simulations, it is shown that in the presence of the nonthermal electrons, the relaxation of the beam distribution function in velocity space is retarded and the Langmuir waves are strongly damped at low velocities. The average velocity of beam propagation is almost constant but its magnitude is larger in the presence of nonthermal electrons than their absence. It is found that the self-similarity of the system is preserved in the presence of nonthermal electrons. The effects of nonthermal electrons on the evolution of gas-dynamical parameters of the beam, including the height of plateau in the beam distribution function, its upper and lower velocity boundaries, and beam velocity width, are also studied. It is found that initially the values of the upper and lower velocity boundaries are almost unaltered, but at large times the lower (upper) boundary velocity is larger (smaller) in the presence of nonthermal electrons than without the nonthermal electrons.


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