Articles | Volume 11, issue 4
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 11, 447–452, 2004
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-11-447-2004

Special issue: Advances in space environment turbulence

Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 11, 447–452, 2004
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-11-447-2004

  20 Oct 2004

20 Oct 2004

Whistler oscillitons revisited: the role of charge neutrality?

F. Verheest1,2, T. Cattaert1, E. Dubinin3, K. Sauer3, and J. F. McKenzie2,3 F. Verheest et al.
  • 1Sterrenkundig Observatorium, Universiteit Gent, Krijgslaan 281, 9000 Gent, Belgium
  • 2School of Physics (Howard College Campus), University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041, South Africa
  • 3Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie, D–37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany

Abstract. When studying transverse modes propagating parallel to a static magnetic field, an apparent contradiction arises between the weakly nonlinear results obtained from the derivative nonlinear Schrödinger equation, predicting envelope solitons (where the amplitude is stationary in the wave frame, but the phase is not), and recent results for whistler oscillitons, indicating that really stationary structures of large amplitude are possible. Revisiting this problem in the fluid dynamic approach, care has been taken not to introduce charge neutrality from the outset, because this not only neglects electric stresses compared to magnetic stresses, which is reasonable, but could also imply from Poisson's equation a vanishing of the wave electric field. Nevertheless, the fixed points of the remaining equations are the same, whether charge neutrality is assumed from the outset or not, so that the solitary wave solutions at not too large amplitudes will be very similar. This is borne out by numerical simulations of the solutions under the two hypotheses, showing that the lack of correspondence with the DNLS envelope solitons indicates the limitations of the reductive perturbation approach, and is not a consequence of assuming charge neutrality.