Electromagnetic waves in homogeneous plasma

  • V. V. Zheleznyakov
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 204)


This chapter gives the basics of the linear theory of electromagnetic waves in homogeneous plasma. The issues necessary to understand the further material are favoured. Complexity and the wide variety of wave processes in plasma, especially the magnetized one, forced us to restrict ourselves to only the theory of high-frequency waves. Their features are completely determined by the electrons, whereas the influence of ions is negligible. Such a restriction is somehow justified by the great importance of the high-frequency waves for the generation of extra-terrestrial radiation. Of course, this does not mean that the lower-frequency waves are of minor importance for astrophysical and space plasmas. As an example, we mention the magnetosphere of the Earth where the processes of lower-frequency wave excitation determine the characteristics of the observed emissions and significantly affect the dynamics of the radiation belts. The problem of generation and propagation of lower-frequency waves in astrophysical and space plasmas is worth a separate book. We refer the reader to monographs [71–73] which give general theory of low-frequency waves in plasma and also to a number of original papers.


Neutron Star Dispersion Curve Dispersion Equation Plasma Wave Normal Wave 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. V. Zheleznyakov
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Applied PhysicsRussian Academy of ScienceNizhny NovgorodRussia
  2. 2.Advanced School of General and Applied PhysicsNizhny Novgorod UniversityNizhny NovgorodRussia

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