Nonlinear turbulence theory and simulation of Buneman instability

Yoon, P. H.; Umeda, T.
November 2010
Physics of Plasmas;Nov2010, Vol. 17 Issue 11, p112317
Academic Journal
In the present paper, the weak turbulence theory for reactive instabilities, formulated in a companion paper [P. H. Yoon, Phys. Plasmas 17, 112316 (2010)], is applied to the strong electron-ion two-stream (or Buneman) instability. The self-consistent theory involves quasilinear velocity space diffusion equation for the particles and nonlinear wave kinetic equation that includes quasilinear (or induced emission) term as well as nonlinear wave-particle interaction term (or a term that represents an induced scattering off ions). We have also performed one-dimensional electrostatic Vlasov simulation in order to benchmark the theoretical analysis. Under the assumption of self-similar drifting Gaussian distribution function for the electrons it is shown that the current reduction and the accompanying electron heating as well as electric field turbulence generation can be discussed in a self-consistent manner. Upon comparison with the Vlasov simulation result it is found that quasilinear wave kinetic equation alone is insufficient to account for the final saturation amplitude. Upon including the nonlinear scattering term in the wave kinetic equation, however, we find that a qualitative agreement with the simulation is recovered. From this, we conclude that the combined quasilinear particle diffusion plus induced emission and scattering (off ions) processes adequately account for the nonlinear development of the Buneman instability.


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