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Monday, April 09, 2012
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)

Postdoc Seminar

Linear mode conversion between lower hybrid and whistler waves on a density striation

Enrico Camporeale

When a wave packet composed of short wavelength lower hybrid modes traveling in an homogeneous plasma region encounters an inhomogeneity, it can resonantly excite long wavelength whistler waves via a mechanism known as mode conversion. An enhancement of lower hybrid/whistler activity has been often observed by sounding rockets and satellites in the presence of density depletions (striations) in the upper ionosphere. We address here the process of linear mode conversion of lower hybrid to whistler waves, mediated by a density striation, using a scalar-field formalism (in the limit of cold plasma linear theory) which we solve numerically. We show that the mode conversion can effectively transfer a large amount of energy from the short to the long wavelength modes. We also study how the efficiency scales by changing the properties (width and amplitude) of the density striation. We present a general criterion for the width of the striation that, if fulfilled maximizes the conversion efficiency. Such a criterion could provide an interpretation of recent laboratory experiments carried out on the Large Plasma Device at UCLA. The results of this work are relevant for the modeling of energetic particles in the magnetosphere and ionosphere, in a Space Weather context.

Host: Humberto C Godinez Vazquez, Mathematical Modeling and Analysis Theoretical Division, 5-9188