Simulation and theory for two-dimensional beam-plasma instability

Yi, Sumin; Rhee, Tongnyeol; Ryu, Chang-Mo; Yoon, Peter H.
December 2010
Physics of Plasmas;Dec2010, Vol. 17 Issue 12, p122318
Academic Journal
A comparative study of the dynamics of the electron beam-plasma system in two spatial dimensions is carried out by means of particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation and quasilinear theory. In the literature, the beam-plasma instability is usually studied with one-dimensional assumption. Among the few works that include higher-dimensional effects are two- and three-dimensional quasilinear theory and two-dimensional PIC simulations. However, no efforts were made to compare the theory and simulation side by side. The present paper carries out a detailed comparative study of two-dimensional simulation and quasilinear theory. It is found that the quasilinear theory quite adequately accounts for most important features associated with the simulation result. For instance, the particle diffusion time scale, the maximum wave intensity, dynamical development of the electron distribution function, and the change in the wave spectrum all agree quantitatively. However, certain nonlinear effects such as the Langmuir condensation phenomenon are not reproduced by the quasilinear theory. Nevertheless, the present paper verifies that the simple quasilinear theory is quite effective for the study of beam-plasma instability for the present choice of parameters.


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