Degenerate mixing of plasma waves on cold, magnetized single-species plasmas

Anderson, M. W.; O'Neil, T. M.; Dubin, D. H. E.; Gould, R. W.
October 2011
Physics of Plasmas;Oct2011, Vol. 18 Issue 10, p102113
Academic Journal
In the cold-fluid dispersion relation ω=ωp/[1+(k⊥/kz)2]1/2 for Trivelpiece-Gould waves on an infinitely long magnetized plasma cylinder, the transverse and axial wavenumbers appear only in the combination k⊥/kz. As a result, for any frequency ω<ωp, there are infinitely many degenerate waves, all having the same value of k⊥/kz. On a cold finite-length plasma column, these degenerate waves reflect into one another at the ends; thus, each standing-wave normal mode of the bounded plasma is a mixture of many degenerate waves, not a single standing wave as is often assumed. A striking feature of the many-wave modes is that the short-wavelength waves often add constructively along resonance cones given by dz/dr=±(ωp2/ω2-1)1/2. Also, the presence of short wavelengths in the admixture for a predominantly long-wavelength mode enhances the viscous damping beyond what the single-wave approximation would predict. Here, numerical solutions are obtained for modes of a cylindrical plasma column with rounded ends. Exploiting the fact that the modes of a spheroidal plasma are known analytically (the Dubin modes), a perturbation analysis is used to investigate the mixing of low-order, nearly degenerate Dubin modes caused by small deformations of a plasma spheroid.


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