On the dispersion features of whistler waves in almost pure ion plasmas

Lundin, B. V.; Krafft, C.
October 2011
Physics of Plasmas;Oct2011, Vol. 18 Issue 10, p102114
Academic Journal
It is shown that in a multi-ion plasma of moderate density enriched by a large amount of negatively charged ions and/or heavy particulates, the lower cutoff frequencies of the electron whistler and the Z-mode (extraordinary) waves tend to each other, approaching the ion plasma frequency ωpi. The evolution of the dispersion curves ω(k, θ) of both wave modes is studied as a function of the relative electron density, beginning from the case of a moderate density plasma with comparable values of electron gyro- and plasma frequencies and ωpi essentially exceeding the ions' gyrofrequencies. When the fraction of free electrons is very small the transparency frequency domain of the electron whistler mode becomes very narrow, being located in the vicinity of ωpi. If the negatively charged ions have the smallest specific charges among other ion species then, under similar conditions, the so-called crossover effect and the accompanying polarization sense reverse can occur at frequencies essentially greater than the ions' gyrofrequencies. The revealed effects are characteristic of plasmas with excess of electronegative gas molecules or dust particulates highly adhesive to electrons, i.e., almost pure ion plasmas and/or pair-ion plasmas with extra small fractions of free electrons. Moreover, it is found that the vanishingly small electron fraction providing the same value of the electron whistler ion cutoff frequency normalized to the ion plasma frequency is essentially less for pair fullerene C60± than for pair hydrogen H± plasmas. The technique to determine ωpi using the evolution of the whistler wave magnetic field polarization ellipse is also described.


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