Theoretical and numerical studies of density modulated whistlers

Eliasson, B. and Shukla, P. K. (2004) Theoretical and numerical studies of density modulated whistlers. Geophysical Research Letters, 31 (17). L17802. ISSN 0094-8276

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Recently, observations from laboratory experiments, which are relevant to space observations as well, have conclusively revealed the amplitude modulation of whistlers by low-frequency perturbations. Our objective here is to present theoretical and simulation studies of amplitude modulated whistler packets on account of their interaction with background low-frequency density perturbations that are reinforced by the whistler ponderomotive force. Specifically, we show that nonlinear interactions between whistlers and finite amplitude density perturbations are governed by a nonlinear Schrödinger equation for the modulated whistlers, and a set of equations for arbitrary large amplitude density perturbations in the presence of the whistler ponderomotive force. The governing equations are solved numerically to show the existence of large scale density perturbations that are self-consistently created by localized modulated whistler wavepackets. Our numerical results are found to be in good agreement with experimental results, as well as have relevance to observations from magnetized space plasmas.