Freak waves and electrostatic wavepacket modulation in a quantum electron-positron-ion plasma

M. McKerr, I. Kourakis, F. Haas

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46 Citations (Scopus)


The occurrence of rogue waves (freak waves) associated with electrostatic wavepacket propagation in a quantum electron-positron-ion plasma is investigated from first principles. Electrons and positrons follow a Fermi-Dirac distribution, while the ions are subject to a quantum (Fermi) pressure. A fluid model is proposed and analyzed via a multiscale technique. The evolution of the wave envelope is shown to be described by a nonlinear Schrödinger equation (NLSE). Criteria for modulational instability are obtained in terms of the intrinsic plasma parameters. Analytical solutions of the NLSE in the form of envelope solitons (of the bright or dark type) and localized breathers are reviewed. The characteristics of exact solutions in the form of the Peregrine soliton, the Akhmediev breather and the Kuznetsov-Ma breather are proposed as candidate functions for rogue waves (freak waves) within the model. The characteristics of the latter and their dependence on relevant parameters (positron concentration and temperature) are investigated.
Original languageEnglish
Article number035007
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2014


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