Volume 83, Number 1, July 2008
Article Number 15004
Number of page(s) 3
Section Physics of Gases, Plasmas and Electric Discharges
Published online 16 June 2008
EPL, 83 (2008) 15004
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/83/15004

Viscous limitation of large-amplitude pulses in two-component plasmas

G. Rowlands1 and E. Infeld2

1  Centre for Fusion, Space and Astrophysics, Department of Physics, University of Warwick Coventry CV4 7AL, UK, EU
2  Department of Theoretical Physics, Soltan Institute for Nuclear Studies - Hoza 69, 00-681 Warsaw, Poland, EU

received 28 March 2008; accepted in final form 20 May 2008; published July 2008
published online 16 June 2008

Some time ago, we found an exact solution for nonlinear cold-plasma oscillations against a periodic ion background. The main and somewhat surprising physical effect due to the fixed ion background was the appearance of unbounded-electron density and electric-field intensity peaks. Along with others, we then tried to understand this in terms of realistic physical situations. Here we present a calculation indicating that these infinities can be removed by inclusion of viscous effects. A discussion of possible regions of validity of the model is given. For removal of infinities, the viscosity must be larger than a critical value depending on both the amplitude and spacing of the periodic ion background. Lagrangian coordinates are crucial in this calculation.

51.20.+d - Viscosity, difusion, and thermal conductivity.
52.30.-q - Plasma dynamics and flow.
47.20.Ky - Nonlinearity, bifurcation, and symmetry breaking.

© EPLA 2008