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Beam instabilities in a magnetized pair plasma

Lyutikov, Maxim (1999) Beam instabilities in a magnetized pair plasma. Journal of Plasma Physics, 62 (1). pp. 65-86. ISSN 0022-3778. doi:10.1017/S0022377899007837.

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Beam instabilities in the strongly magnetized electron–positron plasma of a pulsar magnetosphere are considered. We analyse the resonance conditions and estimate the growth rates of the Cherenkov and cyclotron instabilities of the ordinary (O), extraordinary (X) and Alfvén modes in two limiting regimes: kinetic and hydrodynamic. The importance of the different instabilities as a source of coherent pulsar radiation generation is then estimated, taking into account the angular dependence of the growth rates and the limitations on the length of the coherent wave–particle interaction imposed by the curvature of the magnetic field lines. We conclude that in the pulsar magnetosphere, Cherenkov-type instabilities occur in the hydrodynamic regime, while cyclotron-type instabilities occur in the kinetic regime. We argue that electromagnetic cyclotron-type instabilities on the X, O and probably Alfvén waves are more likely to develop in the pulsar magnetosphere.

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Additional Information:"Reprinted with the permission of Cambridge University Press." (Received July 22 1998) (Revised April 6 1999) I should like to thank Roger Blandford for his support and comments, George Machabeli and George Melikidze for useful cooperation, and Abastumani Astrophysics Observatory for hospitality during my stays in Tbilisi. This research was supported by the NSF under Grant AST-9529170 and by the CITA Fellowship.
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Deposited On:02 Apr 2006
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