Stability of Bernstein–Greene–Kruskal plasma equilibria. Numerical experiments over a long time

Abstract : Bernstein–Greene–Kruskal (BGK) equilibria for a Vlasov plasma consisting of a periodic structure exhibiting depressions or ‘‘holes’’ in phase space are under consideration. Marginal stability analysis indicates that such structures are unstable when the system contains at least two holes. An Eulerian numerical code is developed allowing noiseless information on the long time phase space behavior (about 103ω−1p) to be obtained. Starting with equilibria with up to six holes, it is shown that the final state is given by a structure with only one large hole, the initial instability inducing coalescences of the different holes. On the other hand, starting with a homogeneous two‐stream plasma it is shown that, in a first step, a BGK periodic structure appears with a number of holes proportional to the length of the system, followed, in a second step, by a coalescence of the holes to always end up with the above mentioned one large hole structure.
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A. Ghizzo, B. Izrar, P. Bertrand, E. Fijalkow, M. R. Feix, et al.. Stability of Bernstein–Greene–Kruskal plasma equilibria. Numerical experiments over a long time. Physics of Fluids, American Institute of Physics, 1988, 31 (1), pp.72-82. ⟨10.1063/1.866579⟩. ⟨hal-01791844⟩

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