The linear and nonlinear properties of small-amplitude electron-acoustic solitary waves are investigated via the fluid dynamical approach. A three-component plasma is considered, composed of hot electrons, cold electrons, and ions (considered stationary at the scale of interest). A dissipative (wave damping) effect is assumed due to electron-neutral collisions. The background (hot) electrons are characterized by an energetic (excessively superthermal) population and are thus modeled via a κ-type nonthermal distribution. The linear characteristics of electron-acoustic excitations are discussed, for different values of the plasma parameters (superthermality index κ and cold versus hot electron population concentration β). Large wavelengths (beyond a threshold value) are shown to be overdamped. The reductive perturbation technique is used to derive a dissipative Korteweg de-Vries (KdV) equation for small-amplitude electrostatic potential disturbances. These are expressed by exact solutions in the form of dissipative solitary waves, whose dynamics is investigated analytically and numerically. Our results should be useful in elucidating the behavior of space and experimental plasmas characterized by a coexistence of electron populations at different temperatures, where electron-neutral collisions are of relevance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics