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Title: THE EFFECT OF NONLINEAR LANDAU DAMPING ON ULTRARELATIVISTIC BEAM PLASMA INSTABILITIES

Very high energy gamma-rays from extragalactic sources produce pairs from the extragalactic background light, yielding an electron-positron pair beam. This pair beam is unstable to various plasma instabilities, especially the ''oblique'' instability, which can be the dominant cooling mechanism for the beam. However, recently, it has been claimed that nonlinear Landau damping renders it physically irrelevant by reducing the effective damping rate to a low level. Here we show with numerical calculations that the effective damping rate is 8 × 10{sup –4} the growth rate of the linear instability, which is sufficient for the ''oblique'' instability to be the dominant cooling mechanism of these pair beams. In particular, we show that previous estimates of this rate ignored the exponential cutoff in the scattering amplitude at large wave numbers and assumed that the damping of scattered waves entirely depends on collisions, ignoring collisionless processes. We find that the total wave energy eventually grows to approximate equipartition with the beam by increasingly depositing energy into long-wavelength modes. As we have not included the effect of nonlinear wave-wave interactions on these long-wavelength modes, this scenario represents the ''worst case'' scenario for the oblique instability. As it continues to drain energy from the beammore » at a faster rate than other processes, we conclude that the ''oblique'' instability is sufficiently strong to make it the physically dominant cooling mechanism for high-energy pair beams in the intergalactic medium.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ; ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1900 E. Kenwood Boulevard, Milwaukee, WI 53211 (United States)
  2. Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, 31 Caroline Street North, Waterloo, ON, N2L 2Y5 (Canada)
  3. Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, Schloss-Wolfsbrunnenweg 35, D-69118 Heidelberg (Germany)
  4. Institute of Astronomy and Kavli Institute for Cosmology, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364828
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 797; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; APPROXIMATIONS; BL LACERTAE OBJECTS; ELECTRONS; GAMMA RADIATION; INTERGALACTIC SPACE; LANDAU DAMPING; MAGNETIC FIELDS; NONLINEAR PROBLEMS; PLASMA; PLASMA INSTABILITY; POSITRONS; RELATIVISTIC RANGE; SCATTERING AMPLITUDES; VISIBLE RADIATION