Exact theory for localized envelope modulated electrostatic wavepackets in space and dusty plasmas

Yannis Kourakis, P K Shukla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Citations (Scopus)


Abundant evidence for the occurrence of modulated envelope plasma wave packets is provided by recent satellite missions. These excitations are characterized by a slowly varying localized envelope structure, embedding the fast carrier wave, which appears to be the result of strong modulation of the wave amplitude. This modulation may be due to parametric interactions between different modes or, simply, to the nonlinear (self-)interaction of the carrier wave. A generic exact theory is presented in this study, for the nonlinear self-modulation of known electrostatic plasma modes, by employing a collisionless fluid model. Both cold (zero-temperature) and warm fluid descriptions are discussed and the results are compared. The (moderately) nonlinear oscillation regime is investigated by applying a multiple scale technique. The calculation leads to a Nonlinear Schrodinger-type Equation (NLSE), which describes the evolution of the slowly varying wave amplitude in time and space. The NLSE admits localized envelope (solitary wave) solutions of bright(pulses) or dark- (holes, voids) type, whose characteristics (maximum amplitude, width) depend on intrinsic plasma parameters. Effects like amplitude perturbation obliqueness (with respect to the propagation direction), finite temperature and defect (dust) concentration are explicitly considered. Relevance with similar highly localized modulated wave structures observed during recent satellite missions is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-423
Number of pages17
JournalNonlinear Processes in Geophysics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Exact theory for localized envelope modulated electrostatic wavepackets in space and dusty plasmas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this