Low-frequency linear waves and instabilities in uniform and stratified plasmas: the role of kinetic effects
Abstract. We review the basic approximations underlying magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) theory, with special emphasis on the closure approximations, i.e. the approximations used in any fluid approach to close the hierarchy of moment equations. We then present the main closure models that have been constructed for collisionless plasmas in the large-scale regime, and we describe our own mixed MHD-kinetic model, which is designed to study low-frequency linear waves and instabilities in collisionless plasmas. We write down the full dispersion relation in a new, general form, which gathers all the specific features of our MHD-kinetic model into four polytropic indices, and which can be applied to standard adiabatic MHD and to double-adiabatic MHD through a simple change in the expressions of the polytropic indices. We study the mode solutions and the stability properties of the full dispersion relation in each of these three theories, first in the case of a uniform plasma, and then in the case of a stratified plasma. In both cases, we show how the results are affected by the collisionless nature of the plasma.