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Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 15, issue 6
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 15, 903–913, 2008
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-15-903-2008
© Author(s) 2008. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Special issue: Coupling between large and small scale turbulence in space...

Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 15, 903–913, 2008
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-15-903-2008
© Author(s) 2008. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  27 Nov 2008

27 Nov 2008

Study of nonlinear ion- and electron-acoustic waves in multi-component space plasmas

G. S. Lakhina1, S. V. Singh1, A. P. Kakad1, F. Verheest2,3, and R. Bharuthram4 G. S. Lakhina et al.
  • 1Indian Institute of Geomagnetism, New Panvel (W), Navi Mumbai – 410 218, India
  • 2Sterrenkundig Observatorium, Universiteit Gent, Krijgslaan 281, B-9000 Gent, Belgium
  • 3School of Physics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X54001, Durban 4000, South Africa
  • 4University of the Western Cape, Modderdam Road, Belville 7530, South Africa

Abstract. Large amplitude ion-acoustic and electron-acoustic waves in an unmagnetized multi-component plasma system consisting of cold background electrons and ions, a hot electron beam and a hot ion beam are studied using Sagdeev pseudo-potential technique. Three types of solitary waves, namely, slow ion-acoustic, ion-acoustic and electron-acoustic solitons are found provided the Mach numbers exceed the critical values. The slow ion-acoustic solitons have the smallest critical Mach numbers, whereas the electron-acoustic solitons have the largest critical Mach numbers. For the plasma parameters considered here, both type of ion-acoustic solitons have positive potential whereas the electron-acoustic solitons can have either positive or negative potential depending on the fractional number density of the cold electrons relative to that of the ions (or total electrons) number density. For a fixed Mach number, increases in the beam speeds of either hot electrons or hot ions can lead to reduction in the amplitudes of the ion-and electron-acoustic solitons. However, the presence of hot electron and hot ion beams have no effect on the amplitudes of slow ion-acoustic modes. Possible application of this model to the electrostatic solitary waves (ESWs) observed in the plasma sheet boundary layer is discussed.

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