Volume 83, Number 5, September 2008
Article Number 55001
Number of page(s) 5
Section Physics of Gases, Plasmas and Electric Discharges
Published online 30 July 2008
EPL, 83 (2008) 55001
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/83/55001

Linear and nonlinear regimes of bump-on-tail instability through Vlasov and toy model simulations

F. Valentini1, R. De Marco2, V. Carbone1, 3 and P. Veltri1

1   Dipartimento di Fisica, Università della Calabria, and CNISM, Sezione di Cosenza - Ponte P. Bucci, Cubo 33B, 87036 Rende (CS), Italy, EU
2   CNR - IRPI Istituto per la protezione idrogeologica Sezione di Cosenza - Via Cavour, 4/6, 87036 Rende (CS), Italy, EU
3   Licryl/INFM Regional Laboratory - Ponte P. Bucci, Cubo 33B, 87036 Rende (CS), Italy, EU

received 24 June 2008; accepted in final form 18 July 2008; published September 2008
published online 30 July 2008

Resonant wave-particle interaction in collisionless unmagnetized plasmas is numerically investigated by means of a Fermi-like model, focusing on the linear and nonlinear regimes of the well-known bump-on-tail instability. Within this toy model, particle trapping effects are described through elastic collisions of particles with two barriers separated by a fixed length and whose amplitude (proportional to the wave energy) can increase or decrease in time, due to the sequence of stochastic collisions. The systematic comparison of the toy model numerical results with those obtained from Vlasov-Poisson simulations as well as with the predictions of kinetic theory, shows that the nonlinear map, on which the Fermi-like model is based, captures the basic physics of the linear growth of the bump-on-tail instability and of the particle trapping effects which produce the saturation of the instability and drive the nonlinear phase of wave-particle interaction.

52.20.-j - Elementary processes in plasmas.
52.65.Ff - Fokker-Planck and Vlasov equation.
52.65.Pp - Monte Carlo methods.

© EPLA 2008