Journal of Plasma Physics

Papers

Dynamics of modulationally unstable ion-acoustic wavepackets in plasmas with negative ions

MICHAEL S. RUDERMANa1, TATYANA TALIPOVAa2 and EFIM PELINOVSKYa2

a1 Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Sheffield, Hicks Building, Hounsfield Road, Sheffield S3 7RH, UK (m.s.ruderman@sheffield.ac.uk)

a2 Laboratory of Hydrophysics and Nonlinear Acoustics, Institute of Applied Physics, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Abstract

In this paper we study the propagation of nonlinear ion-acoustic waves in plasmas with negative ions. The Gardner equation governing these waves in plasmas with the negative ion concentration close to critical is derived. The weakly nonlinear theory of modulational instability based on the use of the nonlinear Schrödinger equation is discussed. The investigation of the nonlinear dynamics of modulationally unstable quasi-harmonic wavepackets is carried out by the numerical solution of the Gardner equation. The results are compared with the predictions of the weakly nonlinear theory.

(Received August 30 2007)

(Revised January 31 2008)

(Online publication April 18 2008)