Ion-acoustic waves in a nonstationary ultra-cold neutral plasma

Mendonça, J. T.; Shukla, P. K.
April 2011
Physics of Plasmas;Apr2011, Vol. 18 Issue 4, p042101
Academic Journal
We consider the excitation and dispersion of electrostatic ion-acoustic (IA) waves in a nonstationary ultra-cold neutral plasma (UCNP). This can be seen as an extension of time-refraction models of photons and plasmons to the case of low-frequency IA waves in the UCNP. It is shown that temporal changes in the medium lead to a frequency-shift of the IA wave, and to the emission of the IA waves propagating in a direction opposite to each other. We consider an arbitrary temporal variation of the background plasma density, and determine the transmission and reflection coefficients. We also consider the influence of a fast ionization process, assumed inhomogeneous in volume and show that it excites a well-defined spectrum of ion-acoustic waves, which agree very well with a recent experimental observation.


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