Nonlinear development and fourier analysis of the whistler mode instability

S. Cuperman, Y. Salu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The results of the nonlinear computer investigation of the whistler mode instability with the aid of particle-in-cell simulation methods are presented. The electron plasma considered is hot (&?], = 20keV), anisothermal (T1/T1 2t ~ 2) and embedded in a static magnetic field such that ?„ — 0–8. A detailed Fourier analysis of the electromagnetic activity developed under the above stated conditions is carried out: the waves are shown to be electron-like and excellent agreement with the linear stability analysis for the first stages of evolution is found. The feed-back effect of the waves on the particles is shown to result in a continuous decrease of the thermal anisotropy ratio Tinf┴inf/Tinf1inf; corresponding changes in the Fourier spectra of the electromagnetic activity are observed; additional changes in the wave spectrum are introduced by the interaction between various instability modes. At the end of the run (winfpinft ~ 600), the state of the system resembles a quasi-stable equilibrium, in which the electromagnetic energy achieves its maximum value: in this state, unlike the equilibrium one usually considered in the linear stability analysis, a thermally anisotropic plasma withTinf┴inf/Tinf1inf, ~ 1.35 appears to be quasi-stable against the whistler mode instability. This last result is relevant for the geostationary magnetospheric conditions (in the equatorial region) where quasi-stationary states with Tinf┴inf/Tinf1inf about 1–3 are observed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-310
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Plasma Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1973


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