Subcritical mirror structures in an anisotropic plasma
Based on Grad-Shafranov-like equations, a gyrotropic plasma where the pressures in the static regime are only functions of the amplitude of the local magnetic field is shown to be amenable to a variational principle with a free energy density given by the parallel tension. This approach is used to demonstrate that small-amplitude static holes constructed slightly below the mirror instability threshold identify with lump solitons of KPII (Kadomtsev-Petviashvili) equation and turn out to be unstable. It is also shown that regularizing effects such as finite Larmor radius corrections cannot be ignored in the description of large-amplitude mirror structures.
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