Nonzero electron temperature effects in nonlinear mirror modes

Istomin, Ya. N.; Pokhotelov, O. A.; Balikhin, M. A.
December 2009
Physics of Plasmas;Dec2009, Vol. 16 Issue 12, p122901
Academic Journal
The nonlinear theory of the magnetic mirror instability (MI) accounting for nonzero electron temperature effects is developed. Based on our previous low-frequency approach to the analysis of this instability and including nonzero electron temperature effects a set of equations describing nonlinear dynamics of mirror modes is derived. In the linear limit a Fourier transform of these equations recovers the linear MI growth rate in which the finite ion Larmor radius and nonzero electron temperature effects are taken into account. When the electron temperature Te becomes of the same order as the parallel ion temperature T∥ the growth rate of the MI is reduced by the presence of a parallel electric field. The latter arises because the electrons are dragged by nonresonant ions which are mirror accelerated from regions of high to low parallel magnetic flux. The nonzero electron temperature effect also substantially modifies the mirror mode nonlinear dynamics. When Te≃T∥, the transition from the linear to nonlinear regime occurred for wave amplitudes that are only half that which was inherent to the cold electron temperature limit. Further nonlinear dynamics developed with the explosive formation of magnetic holes, ending with a saturated state in the form of solitary structures or cnoidal waves. This shows that the incorporation of nonzero temperature results in a weak decrease in their spatial dimensions of the holes and increase in their depth.


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