The passage of a magnetosonic (MS) soliton in a cold plasma leads to the displacement of charged particles in the direction of a compressive pulse and in the opposite direction of a rarefaction pulse. In the overdense plasma limit, the displacement induced by a weakly nonlinear MS soliton is derived analytically. This result is then used to derive an asymptotic expansion for the displacement resulting from the bouncing motion of a MS soliton reflected back and forth in a vacuum-bounded cold plasma slab. Particles' displacement after the pulse energy has been lost to the vacuum region is shown to scale as the ratio of light speed to Alfvén velocity. Results for the displacement after a few MS soliton reflections are corroborated by particle-in-cell simulations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics