Electromagnetic Radiation from Beam-Plasma Instabilities

  • R. L. Stenzel
  • D. A. Whelan
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSB, volume 79)


The mechanism by which unstable electrostatic waves of an electron-beam plasma system are converted into observed electromagnetic waves is of great current interest in space plasma physics. Electromagnetic radiation arises from both natural beam-plasma systems, e.g., type III solar bursts (Papadopoulos, 1979) and kilometric radiation (Maggs, 1978), and from man-made electron beams injected from rockets and spacecraft (Grandal et al., 1980; Winckler et al., 1975; Kawashima, 1980). In spite of numerous laboratory experiments on beam-plasma instabilities, little attention has been paid to electromagnetic wave generation. Only the simplest process, i.e., the conversion of electrostatic to electromagnetic waves in nonuniform plasmas at the critical layer (ω = ωp) is well established in both theory (Piliya, 1966) and experiments (Stenzel et al., 1974). In uniform plasmas it has been theoretically shown (Tsytovitch, 1977) that the scattering of electron plasma waves off ion acoustic waves and other electron plasma waves produces electromagnetic waves near ω ≳ ωpe) and ω ≃ 2ωpe, respectively, where ωpe is the electron plasma frequency. In some three-wave interactions where the electrostatic plasma waves excited by the beam grow to very large amplitudes (eΦ≃ kTe), the normal modes of the system are modified.


Electromagnetic Wave Electromagnetic Radiation Plasma Wave Radio Burst Langmuir Probe 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Gekelman, W., and Stenzel, R. L., 1978, Ion sound turbulence in a magnetoplasma, Phys. Fluids, 21:2014.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Goldman, M. V., Reiter, G. F., and Nicholson, D. R., 1980, Radiation from a strongly turbulent plasma: Application to electron beam-excited solar emission, Phys. Fluids, 23:388.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Grandal, B., Holtet, J. A., Trøim, J., Maehlum, B., and Pran, B., 1980, Observation of waves artificially stimulated by an electron beam inside a region with auroral precipitation, Planet. Space Sci., 28:1131.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Kawashima, N., Sasaki, S., Ushikoshi, A., and Obayashi, T., 1980, Electron beam experiments in space, in: Proceedings of the International Conference on Plasma Physics, Nagoya, Japan, Vol. I:217.Google Scholar
  5. Lin, R. P., Potter, D. W., Gurnett, D. A., and Scarf, F. L., 1981, Energetic electrons and plasma waves associated with a solar type III radio burst, Univ. Calif. Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory Report.Google Scholar
  6. Maggs, J. E., 1978, Theory of electromagnetic waves on auroral field lines, J. Geomag. Geoelectr., 30:273.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Morales, G. I., and Lee, Y. C., Spiky turbulence generated by a propagating electrostatic wave of finite spatial extent, Phys. Fluids, 19:690.Google Scholar
  8. Papadopoulos, K., 1979, Interplanetary type III radio bursts, Rev. Geophys. and Space Phys., 17:624.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Piliya, A. D., 1966, Wave conversion in an inhomogeneous plasma, Sov. Phys. — Tech. Phys., 11:609.Google Scholar
  10. Stenzel, R. L., and Wong, A. Y., 1972, Threshold and saturation of the parametric decay instability, Phys. Rev. Lett., 28:274.Google Scholar
  11. Stenzel, R. L., Wong, A. Y., and Kim, H. C., 1974, Conversion of electromagnetic waves to electrostatic waves in inhomogeneous plasmas, Phys. Rev. Lett., 32:654.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Tsytovitch, V. N., 1977, Theory of turbulent plasmas, Consultants Bureau, New York.Google Scholar
  13. Winckler, J. R., Arnoldy, R. L., and Hendrikson, R. A., 1975, Echo 2: a study of electron beams injected into the high latitude ionosphere from a large sounding rocket, J. Geophys. Res., 80:2083.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Wong, A. Y., and Quon, B. H., 1975, Spatial collapse of beam-driven plasma waves, Phys. Rev. Lett., 34:1499.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. L. Stenzel
    • 1
  • D. A. Whelan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations