The study of non-Maxwellian plasmas is crucial to the understanding of space and astrophysical plasma dynamics. In this paper, we investigate the existence of arbitrary amplitude ion-acoustic solitary waves in an unmagnetized plasma consisting of ions and excess superthermal electrons (modelled by a kappa-type distribution), which is penetrated by an electron beam. A kappa (kappa-) type distribution is assumed for the background electrons. A (Sagdeev-type) pseudopotential formalism is employed to derive an energy-balance like equation. The range of allowed values of the soliton speed (Mach number), wherein solitary waves may exist, is determined. The Mach number range (allowed soliton speed values) becomes narrower under the combined effect of the electron beam and of the superthermal electrons, and may even be reduced to nil (predicting no solitary wave existence) for high enough beam density and low enough kappa (significant superthermality). For fixed values of all other parameters (Mach number, electron beam-to-ion density ratio and electron beam velocity), both soliton amplitude and (electric potential perturbation) profile steepness increase as kappa decreases. The combined occurrence of small-amplitude negative potential structures and larger amplitude positive ones is pointed out, while the dependence of either type on the plasma parameters is investigated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering