Waves in strongly coupled magnetized plasmas

26.01.2015

It is long known that the correlations between individual particles in dense or cold plasmas give rise to fascinating new phenomena such as the emergence of new collective oscillation modes which are important, e.g., for the energy balance of neutron stars. Strong magnetic fields, on the other hand, often permeate plasmas and significantly influence their diffusion and collective behaviour. What happens when both these conditions - strong correlations and strong magnetic fields - apply in a plasma, is the focal point of the research carried out by Torben Ott and Hanno Kählert at the chair of Prof. Michael Bonitz at the Physics Department of Kiel University which has now been published in Physical Review Letters. Using semi-analytical theory together with large-scale first principle computer simulations, the existence of six principal waves propagating along and perpendicular to the magnetic field could be predicted and described which show the complicated interplay of correlational and magnetic field effects.
 
 
The figure shows simulation data (color scale and error bars) together with analytical results (solid lines) for the dispersion relation of these six waves. L and T denote the longitudinal and transverse oscillation spectra, respectively.