Spatiotemporal chaos and the dynamics of coupled Langmuir and ion-acoustic waves in plasmas
2010 (English)In: Physical Review E. Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, ISSN 1539-3755, E-ISSN 1550-2376, Vol. 81, no 4, 046405Article in journal (Refereed) Published
A simulation study is performed to investigate the dynamics of coupled Langmuir waves (LWs) and ion-acoustic waves (IAWs) in an unmagnetized plasma. The effects of dispersion due to charge separation and the density nonlinearity associated with the IAWs are considered to modify the properties of Langmuir solitons, as well as to model the dynamics of relatively large amplitude wave envelopes. It is found that the Langmuir wave electric field, indeed, increases by the effect of ion-wave nonlinearity (IWN). Use of a low-dimensional model, based on three Fourier modes, shows that a transition to temporal chaos is possible, when the length scale of the linearly excited modes is larger than that of the most unstable ones. The chaotic behaviors of the unstable modes are identified by the analysis of Lyapunov exponent spectra. The space-time evolution of the coupled LWs and IAWs shows that the IWN can cause the excitation of many unstable harmonic modes and can lead to strong IAW emission. This occurs when the initial wave field is relatively large or the length scale of IAWs is larger than the soliton characteristic size. Numerical simulation also reveals that many solitary patterns can be excited and generated through the modulational instability of unstable harmonic modes. As time goes on, these solitons are seen to appear in the spatially partial coherence state due to the free ion-acoustic radiation as well as in the state of spatiotemporal chaos due to collision and fusion in the stochastic motion. The latter results in the redistribution of initial wave energy into a few modes with small length scales, which may lead to the onset of Langmuir turbulence in laboratory as well as space plasmas.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 81, no 4, 046405
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-109632DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.81.046405ISI: 000277265900069PubMedID: 20481845OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-109632DiVA: diva2:858580