Nonlinear decay and instability of a nonuniform finite-amplitude plasma wave

M. Porkolab*, R. P H Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The effects of spatial nonuniformities in the amplitude of a decaying finite-amplitude plasma wave are examined. It is found that the usually neglected, but experimentally important, initial damping (or growth) of the finite-amplitude wave may have important consequences upon the decay process. The mode-coupling equations are solved for both forward-scattering and back-scattering type decay processes. The latter case is particularly interesting, since both amplification in space, and instability in time, of the perturbed waves may occur in the presence of damping mechanisms. Calculations are presented which show that longitudinal waves with frequencies in the vicinity of cyclotron harmonics may be subject to such instabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2054-2063
Number of pages10
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jan 1 1970

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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