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Phys Rev Lett. 2010 Sep 10;105(11):115001. Epub 2010 Sep 7.

Laboratory measurements of electrostatic solitary structures generated by beam injection.

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Space Science Center, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire 03824, USA.


Electrostatic solitary structures are generated by injection of a suprathermal electron beam parallel to the magnetic field in a laboratory plasma. Electric microprobes with tips smaller than the Debye length (λDe) enabled the measurement of positive potential pulses with half-widths 4 to 25λDe and velocities 1 to 3 times the background electron thermal speed. Nonlinear wave packets of similar velocities and scales are also observed, indicating that the two descend from the same mode which is consistent with the electrostatic whistler mode and result from an instability likely to be driven by field-aligned currents.

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