A Technique for Fully Specifying Plasma Waves

  1. J. H. Waite Jr.,
  2. J. L. Burch and
  3. R. L. Moore
  1. Paul M. Kintner

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM054p0341

Solar System Plasma Physics

Solar System Plasma Physics

How to Cite

Kintner, P. M. (1989) A Technique for Fully Specifying Plasma Waves, in Solar System Plasma Physics (eds J. H. Waite, J. L. Burch and R. L. Moore), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM054p0341

Author Information

  1. School of Electrical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1989

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900742

Online ISBN: 9781118664315



  • Space plasmas;
  • Sun;
  • Magnetosphere;
  • Astrophysics


A propagating wave is described by its frequency and its wave vector. With a few rare exceptions all spacecraft measurements of plasma waves were designed to characterize wave frequency only. In this paper we discuss a series of experiments designed to characterize wave vector and wave frequency. The basic technique is to measure the phase shift between spaced sensors. The phase shift is a measure of the projection of a wave vector onto the axis of an interferometer. Two examples of interferometer data are presented. The first example is of plasma waves within a transverse ion acceleration region and the second example is of spatial density irregularities.