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Analysis of a cyclotron maser instability with application to space and laboratory plasmas

Ronald, K. and Speirs, David and Phelps, A.D.R. and Bingham, R. (2005) Analysis of a cyclotron maser instability with application to space and laboratory plasmas. Proceedings of the 46th Annual Meeting of the Division of Plasma Physics, T116. pp. 1-3. ISSN 0034-6748

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Abstract

When a beam of electrons moves into an increasing magnetic field, conservation of the magnetic moment results in the formation of a crescent, or horseshoe shaped velocity distribution. The resultant horseshoe shaped velocity distribution has been shown to be unstable with respect to a cyclotron-maser type instability. This instability has been postulated as the mechanism responsible for auroral kilometric radiation and also non-thermal radiation from other astrophysical bodies. In this paper the previous theory, that assumed an infinite uniform plasma, is extended to apply to a bounded cylindrical geometry. This more exact theory in bounded cylindrical geometry is also directly relevant to a laboratory experiment currently being carried out.