Propagation regimes for an electromagnetic beam in magnetized plasma

Ashutosh Sharma, Ioannis Kourakis, M. S. Sodha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The propagation of a Gaussian electromagnetic beam along the direction of magnetic field in a plasma is investigated. The extraordinary (Ex +i Ey) mode is explicitly considered in the analysis, although the results for the ordinary mode can be obtained upon replacing the electron cyclotron frequency ωc by - ωc. The propagating beam electric field is coupled to the surrounding plasma via the dielectric tensor, taking into account the existence of a stationary magnetic field. Both collisionless and collisional cases are considered, separately. Adopting an established methodological framework for beam propagation in unmagnetized plasmas, we extend to magnetized plasmas by considering the beam profile for points below the critical curve in the beam-power versus beam-width plane, and by employing a relationship among electron concentration and electron temperature, provided by kinetic theory (rather than phenomenology). It is shown that, for points lying above the critical curve in the beam-power versus beam-width plane, the beam experiences oscillatory convergence (self-focusing), while for points between the critical curve and divider curve, the beam undergoes oscillatory divergence and for points on and below the divider curve the beam suffers a steady divergence. For typical values of parameters, numerical results are presented and discussed.

Original languageBritish English
Article number103103
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2008


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