Instability of a current-carrying finite-beta collisional plasma

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The microinstability of a cross-field current-carrying plasma in which the electron collisions are important on the time scale of the oscillations and can be modeled with a Bhatnagar-Gross-Krook operator is studied using linearized kinetic theory under conditions of finite electron beta. The finiteness of beta allows for coupling between electrostatic and electromagnetic modes and necessitates dealing with the entire dispersion tensor. Fundamental features of the resulting instability are identified and contrasted with those found in previous studies of the lower hybrid current-driven instability in which either collisions or finite-beta effects were neglected. As beta increases, collisions play a more important role in destabilization, alter the character and extent of electromagnetic coupling, shift the instability to more perpendicular modes, and lead to a recapturing of some of the fluidlike properties the modes have in the electrostatic limit in contrast with their highly kinetic character in the collisionless limit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11
Number of pages1
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability


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