Effect of Finite Current Channel Width on the Collisional Ion Cyclotron Instability.
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC
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The effect of a finite transverse width, magnetic field-aligned current on the collisional ion cyclotron instability is studied. It is found that a finite current width has a stabilizing influence on the instability. The results are discussed in the context of auroral ionosphere. The field-aligned currents in the auroral ionosphere are an integral part of the ionosphere-magnetosphere coupling system and it is fairly well established now that these currents can be highly nonuniform in structure. Often, the current system is in the form of sheets which have variable thicknesses. An attempt to study the effect of finite width of a current sheet on the current driven collisionless ion acoustic instability was made with applications to the auroral situation. This paper investigated the effects of a finite width current channel on the collisional ion cyclotron CICI instability. The instability can also be stabilized for sufficiently narrow current channels.
- Atmospheric Physics