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Relativistic modulational instability of electron-acoustic waves in an electron-pair ion plasma

Misra, A.P. and Shukla, P.K. (2008) Relativistic modulational instability of electron-acoustic waves in an electron-pair ion plasma. Physics of Plasmas, 15 (12). pp. 122107-1. ISSN 1070-664X

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The modulational instability of finite amplitude electron-acoustic waves (EAWs) along the external magnetic field is studied in an electron-pair ion plasma. Accounting for the relativistic electron mass variation nonlinearity and the Boltzmann distribution of both positive and negative ions, new regimes for the relativistic modulational instability (MI) for the low frequency (below the electron gyrofrequency) short-wavelength (in comparison with the ion gyroradius) modes are obtained numerically. It is found that the presence of a significant fraction of negative ions suppresses the MI growth/decay rate for the modulated EAW packets. The results could be of important for understanding the origin of amplitude modulated EAW packets in space (e.g., Earth's magnetotail) as well as in laboratory plasmas.