Relativistic Effects in Resonance Absorption.
CALIFORNIA UNIV LOS ANGELES PLASMA PHYSICS GROUP
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The role of the relativistic-electron-mass variation in the generation of plasma waves by the linear mode-conversion of intense electromagnetic waves is investigated. The increase in the electron mass in high intensity regions of the mode-converted wave reduces the local plasma frequency and thereby strongly modifies the plasma-driver resonance. A spatial discontinuity in the structure of the mode-converted wave results and causes the wave to break. Under rather modest restrictions, the wave breaking resulting these effects occurs before the wave amplitude is limited either by thermal convection or by breaking caused by previously investigated nonrelativistic effects. Consequently the amplitude of the mode-converted plasma wave should saturate at a much lower level than previously predicted. For simplicity, we limit our analysis to initial stages of mode conversion where the ion dynamics can be neglected. The validity of this approximation is discussed. Author
- Electricity and Magnetism
- Nuclear Physics and Elementary Particle Physics
- Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics
- Radiofrequency Wave Propagation