Articles | Volume 15, issue 6
27 Nov 2008
 | 27 Nov 2008

Study of nonlinear ion- and electron-acoustic waves in multi-component space plasmas

G. S. Lakhina, S. V. Singh, A. P. Kakad, F. Verheest, and R. Bharuthram

Abstract. Large amplitude ion-acoustic and electron-acoustic waves in an unmagnetized multi-component plasma system consisting of cold background electrons and ions, a hot electron beam and a hot ion beam are studied using Sagdeev pseudo-potential technique. Three types of solitary waves, namely, slow ion-acoustic, ion-acoustic and electron-acoustic solitons are found provided the Mach numbers exceed the critical values. The slow ion-acoustic solitons have the smallest critical Mach numbers, whereas the electron-acoustic solitons have the largest critical Mach numbers. For the plasma parameters considered here, both type of ion-acoustic solitons have positive potential whereas the electron-acoustic solitons can have either positive or negative potential depending on the fractional number density of the cold electrons relative to that of the ions (or total electrons) number density. For a fixed Mach number, increases in the beam speeds of either hot electrons or hot ions can lead to reduction in the amplitudes of the ion-and electron-acoustic solitons. However, the presence of hot electron and hot ion beams have no effect on the amplitudes of slow ion-acoustic modes. Possible application of this model to the electrostatic solitary waves (ESWs) observed in the plasma sheet boundary layer is discussed.