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Phys Rev Lett. 2004 Nov 19;93(21):215004. Epub 2004 Nov 19.

Self-organization of a plasma due to 3D evolution of the Weibel instability.

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Theoretical Physics Institute, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2J1, Canada.


The nonlinear evolution of the thermal Weibel instability is studied by using three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. After a fast saturation due to a reduction in the temperature anisotropy, the instability evolves to a quasistationary state which includes a single mode long wavelength helical magnetic field and a finite degree of temperature anisotropy. The nonlinear stability of this state is explained by periodic variations of the temperature anisotropy axis. At long time scales the magnetic field, wave number, and temperature anisotropy slowly evolve to the decreasing magnitudes.

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