Transverse dynamics of dispersive Alfve´n waves. I. Direct numerical evidence of filamentation

Laveder, D.; Passot, T.; Sulem, P. L.
January 2002
Physics of Plasmas;Jan2002, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p293
Academic Journal
The three-dimensional dynamics of a small-amplitude monochromatic Alfve´n wave propagating along an ambient magnetic field is simulated by direct numerical integration of the Hall-magnetohydrodynamics equations. As predicted by the two-dimensional nonlinear Schro¨dinger equation or by more general amplitude equations retaining the coupling to low-frequency magnetosonic waves, the transverse instability of the pump leads to wave collapse and formation of intense magnetic filaments, in spite of the presence of competing, possibly linearly dominant, instabilities that in some instances distort the above structures. In computational boxes, including a large number of pump wavelengths, an early arrest of the collapse is possible under the effect of quasi-transverse instabilities that drive magnetosonic waves and also prescribe the directions of the filaments. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.


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