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Low-frequency instability of an inhomogeneous weakly ionized plasma in crossed electric and inhomogeneous magnetic fields

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The paper discusses the drift dissipative instability that arises in a weakly ionized inhomogeneous plasma in crossed electric and magnetic fields. The potential perturbations are studied in the WKB (Wentzel-Krammers-Brillouin) approximation, i.e. for kκ = d lnn 0/dx. The critical magnetic field, beyond the value of which the plasma is again stable against the studied perturbations, is computed. The effect of the inhomogeneity of the magnetic field modelled by a gravitational field is analyzed and the effect of a magnetic field, growing in the direction opposite to that of the plasma density, is pointed out. Under certain circumstances similar phenomena also arise in the current-convective instability.

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The author wishes to express his thanks to J. Václavík, K. Jungwirth and J. Preinhaelter for their stimulating discussions and comments.

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Kopecký, V. Low-frequency instability of an inhomogeneous weakly ionized plasma in crossed electric and inhomogeneous magnetic fields. Czech J Phys 17, 506–515 (1967). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01695173

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  • Magnetic Field
  • Plasma Density
  • Gravitational Field
  • Inhomogeneous Magnetic Field
  • Inhomogeneous Plasma