Russian Physics Journal

, Volume 37, Issue 7, pp 691–698 | Cite as

Decay of initial nonlinear Alfvén wave discontinuities in a collisionless plasma

  • V. R. Zemskov
Physics Of Semiconductors And Dielectrics


A system of Whitham equations for the derivative nonlinear Schrödinger equation in the Riemann form was used to analyze possible types of decay of discontinuities which accompany the overturning of the simplest quasilongitudinal nonlinear Alfvén wave. A whole class of structures is found which are formed when the discontinuities decay into two simple collisionless shock waves without forming a plateau between them. Different types of decay of the initial discontinuities are considered for cases when the overturning of the Alfvén wave is modulationally stable.


Shock Wave Collisionless Plasma Collisionless Shock Wave Discontinuity Initial Discontinuity 
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© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. R. Zemskov

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