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Phys Rev Lett. 2005 Mar 25;94(11):115002. Epub 2005 Mar 22.

Characterization of the initial filamentation of a relativistic electron beam passing through a plasma.

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ETSI Industriales, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain.


The linear instability that induces a relativistic electron beam passing through a plasma with return current to filament transversely is often related to some filamentation mode with the wave vector normal to the beam or confused with Weibel modes. We show that these modes may not be relevant in this matter and identify the most unstable mode on the two-stream or filamentation branch as the main trigger for filamentation. This sets both the characteristic transverse and longitudinal filamentation scales in the nonresistive initial stage.

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