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Title: Helicon waves in uniform plasmas. II. High m numbers

Helicons are whistler modes with azimuthal wave numbers. They have been studied in solids and plasmas where boundaries play a role. The present work shows that very similar modes exist in unbounded gaseous plasmas. Instead of boundaries, the antenna properties determine the topology of the wave packets. The simplest antenna is a magnetic loop which excites m = 0 or m = 1 helicons depending on whether the dipole moment is aligned parallel or perpendicular to the ambient background magnetic field B{sub 0}. While these low order helicons have been described by J. M. Urrutia and R. L. Stenzel [“Helicon modes in uniform plasmas. I. Low m modes,” Phys. Plasmas 22, 092111 (2015)], the present work focuses on high order modes up to m = 8. These are excited by antenna arrays forming magnetic multipoles. Their wave magnetic field has been measured in space and time in a large and uniform laboratory plasma free of boundary effects. The observed wave topology exhibits m pairs of unique field line spirals which may have inspired the name “helicon” to this mode. All field lines converge into these nested spirals which propagate like corkscrews along B{sub 0}. The field lines near the axis of helicons are perpendicular to B{submore » 0} and circularly polarized as in parallel whistlers. Helical antennas couple to these transverse fields but not to the spiral fields of helicons. Using a circular antenna array of phased m = 0 loops, right or left rotating or non-rotating multipole antenna fields are generated. They excite m < 0 and m > 0 modes, showing that the plasma supports both modes equally well. The poor excitation of m < 0 modes is a characteristic of loops with dipole moment across B{sub 0}. The radiation efficiency of multipole antennas has been found to decrease with m.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095-1547 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22490134
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 9; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ANTENNAS; DIPOLE MOMENTS; EXCITATION; HELICON WAVES; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MULTIPOLES; PLASMA; SOLIDS; SPACE DEPENDENCE; TIME DEPENDENCE; TOPOLOGY; WAVE PACKETS; WHISTLER INSTABILITY; WHISTLERS