Modeling relativistic soliton interactions in overdense plasmas: A perturbed nonlinear Schrodinger equation framework

E. Siminos*, G. Sánchez-Arriaga, V. Saxena, I. Kourakis

*Corresponding author for this work

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8 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate the dynamics of localized solutions of the relativistic cold-fluid plasma model in the small but finite amplitude limit, for slightly overcritical plasma density. Adopting a multiple scale analysis, we derive a perturbed nonlinear Schrodinger equation that describes the evolution of the envelope of circularly polarized electromagnetic field. Retaining terms up to fifth order in the small perturbation parameter, we derive a self-consistent framework for the description of the plasma response in the presence of localized electromagnetic field. The formalism is applied to standing electromagnetic soliton interactions and the results are validated by simulations of the full cold-fluid model. To lowest order, a cubic nonlinear Schrodinger equation with a focusing nonlinearity is recovered. Classical quasiparticle theory is used to obtain analytical estimates for the collision time and minimum distance of approach between solitons. For larger soliton amplitudes the inclusion of the fifth-order terms is essential for a qualitatively correct description of soliton interactions. The defocusing quintic nonlinearity leads to inelastic soliton collisions, while bound states of solitons do not persist under perturbations in the initial phase or amplitude

Original languageEnglish
Article number063104
Number of pages15
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 03 Dec 2014



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