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Nonlinear effects associated with dispersive Alfvén waves in plasmas

Shukla, P K and Stenflo, L and Bingham, R and Eliasson, B (2004) Nonlinear effects associated with dispersive Alfvén waves in plasmas. Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, 46 (12B). B349-B358. ISSN 0741-3335

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Abstract

Large amplitude Alfvén waves are frequently found in magnetized space and laboratory plasmas. Our objective here is to discuss the linear and nonlinear properties of dispersive Alfvén waves (DAWs) in a uniform magnetoplasma. We first consider finite frequency (ω/ωci) and ion gyroradius effects on inertial and kinetic Alfvén waves, where ωci is the ion gyrofrequency. Next, we focus on nonlinear effects caused by DAWs. Such effects include plasma density enhancement and depression by the Alfvén wave ponderomotive force, electron Joule heating by the thermal Alfvén wave force, the generation of zonal flows due to the shear Alfvén wave mode couplings as well as the formation of localized Alfvénic structures and Alfvénic vortices. The relevance of our investigation to the appearance of nonlinear Alfvén waves in the Earth's auroral acceleration region, in the solar corona and in the large plasma device at UCLA is discussed.