PIC Simulation of Current-Driven Buneman Instability in Presence of Collisional and Thermal Effects

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Abstract

Collisional and thermal effects on the nonlinear evolution of Buneman instability in an unmagnetized current-driven plasma are investigated by particle in cell simulations. These simulations show that, as the time passes, the electron distribution function profiles deviate from initial shifted Maxwellian distribution and the electron phase-space holes can be formed. The electron distribution function profiles also indicate the counter-streaming and plateau formation. Moreover, the contour of the electric field and profiles of the growth rate display the resonance condition for this instability. Finally, the time evolution of the electric field energy density and ion kinetic energy in the presence of collisional and thermal effects are presented. These evolutions illustrate that in the presence of collisions, the growth rate of the Buneman instability is smaller than the collisionless case. (© 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

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