a1 Department of Physics, Eindhoven University of Technology, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
The three-dimensional stability of solitary shear kinetic Alfvén waves in a low-β plasma is investigated by the method of Zakharov & Rubenchik (1974). It is found that there is no instability if the direction of perturbation falls within a certain region of space. The growth rate of the instability for the unstable region is determined. This growth rate is found to decrease with increasing angle between the direction of propagation of the solitary wave and the direction of the external uniform magnetic field. A particular case of the present analysis gives results on the stability of ion-acoustic solitons in a magnetized plasma.
(Received March 29 1988)
(Revised September 17 1988)
† Permanent address: Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Calcutta, 92 Achary Profulla Chandra Road, Calcutta 700009, India.