Ion-ion hybrid Alfvén wave resonator demonstrated



[1] Theoretical calculations have indicated that in magnetized plasmas with two ion species, Alfvén waves, oscillations of the magnetic field due to plasma currents, can become trapped in a resonator. Such a resonator has now been demonstrated for the first time in a laboratory. Vincena et al. created the resonator in a magnetized plasma with hydrogen and helium ions. Their observations agreed well with theoretical predictions. Similar resonators could occur in the magnetosphere around Earth and other planets, where the resonant modes can interact with energetic particles. (Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2011GL047399, 2011)