A fresh look on waves in ion-electron plasmas

TitleA fresh look on waves in ion-electron plasmas
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsR. Keppens, J.P Goedbloed
JournalFrontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences
Date Published03/2019

Exploiting the general dispersion relation describing all waves in an ideal ion-electron fluid, we revisit established treatments on wave families in a cold ion-electron plasma. These contain the magnetohydrodynamic Alfvén and fast waves at low frequencies, long wavelengths, but are enriched by short wavelength resonance behaviors, electrostatic and electromagnetic mode types, and cut-off frequencies distinguishing propagating from evanescent waves. Our theoretical treatment exploits purely polynomial expressions, which for the cold ion-electron case only depend on 2 parameters: the ratio of masses over charges u and the ratio E of the electron gyro frequency to the combined ion-electron plasma frequency. We provide a complete description of all waves, which stresses the intricate variation of all five branches of eigenfrequencies w(k, @) depending on wavenumber k and angle @ between wavevector and magnetic field B. Corresponding 5-mode phase and group diagrams provide insight on wave transformations and energy transport. Special cases, like the high frequency modes in magneto-ionic theory following from Appleton-Hartree dispersion relations, are naturally recovered and critically discussed. Faraday rotation for electromagnetic waves is extended to all propagation angles @. The discussion covers all cold ion-electron plasma waves, up into the relativistic regime.







Alternate TitleFront. Astron. Space Sci.

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