Journal of Plasma Physics

Papers

Generation of magnetic fields by the ponderomotive force of electromagnetic waves in dense plasmas

P. K. SHUKLAa1 p1, NITIN SHUKLAa2 and L. STENFLOa3

a1 Institut für Theoretische Physik IV, Fakultät für Physik und Astronomie, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, D-44780 Bochum, Germany (ps@tp4.ruhr-uni-bochum.de)

a2 Department of Physics, Umeå University, SE-90187 Umeå, SE-90187 Sweden

a3 Department of Physics, Linköping University, SE-58183 Linköping, Sweden Department of Physics, Umeå University, SE-90187 Umeå, Sweden

Abstract

We show that the non-stationary ponderomotive force of a large-amplitude electromagnetic wave in a very dense quantum plasma with streaming degenerate electrons can spontaneously create d.c. magnetic fields. The present result can account for the seed magnetic fields in compact astrophysical objects and in the next-generation intense laser–solid density plasma interaction experiments.

(Received January 30 2009)

(Accepted March 05 2009)

(Online publication April 17 2009)

Correspondence:

p1 Also at Department of Physics, Umeå University, SE-90187 Umeå, Sweden; Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA), Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G4 ONG, U.K.; GoLP/Instituto de Plasmas Fusão Nuclear, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade Técnica do Lisboa, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal; School of Physics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, 4000 Durban, South Africa; and Max-Planck Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik und Plasmaphysik, D-85740 Garching, Germany.