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A study of the stability properties of Sagdeev solutions in the ion-acoustic regime using kinetic simulations
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
2018 (English)In: Physics of Plasmas, ISSN 1070-664X, E-ISSN 1089-7674, Vol. 25, no 7, article id 072304Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Sagdeev pseudo-potential approach has been employed extensively in theoretical studies to determine large-amplitude (fully) nonlinear solutions in a variety of multi-species plasmas. Although these solutions are repeatedly considered as solitary waves (and even solitons), their temporal stability has never been proven. In this paper, a numerical study of the Vlasov-Poisson system is made to follow their temporal evolution in the presence of numerical noise and thereby test their long-time propagation stability. Considering the ion-acoustic regime, both constituents of the plasma, i.e., electrons and ions are treated following their distribution functions in these sets of fully-kinetic simulations. The findings reveal that the stability of the Sagdeev solution depends on a combination of two parameters, i.e., velocity and trapping parameter. It is shown that there exists a critical value of trapping parameter for both fast and slow solutions which separates stable from unstable solutions. In the case of stable solutions, it is shown that these nonlinear structures can propagate for long periods, which confirms their status as solitary waves. Stable solutions are reported for both Maxwellian and Kappa distribution functions. For unstable solutions, it is demonstrated that the instability causes the Sagdeev solution to decay by emitting ion-acoustic wave-packets on its propagation trail. The instability is shown to take place in a large range of velocities and even for Sagdeev solutions with a velocity much higher than the ion-sound speed. Besides, in order to validate our simulation code, two precautionary measures are taken. First, the well-known effect of the ion dynamics on a stationary electron hole solution is presented as a benchmarking test of the approach. Second, In order to verify the numerical accuracy of the simulations, the conservation of energy and entropy is presented.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 25, no 7, article id 072304
National Category
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-150841DOI: 10.1063/1.5036764ISI: 000440589100031OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-150841DiVA, id: diva2:1244996
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2016-03806Available from: 2018-09-04 Created: 2018-09-04 Last updated: 2018-09-04Bibliographically approved

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Brodin, Gert

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