© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed
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Weibel instability in a plasma with nonzero external magnetic field
Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
Abstract. The theory of the Weibel instability is generalized for the case of a plasma immersed in a nonzero external magnetic field. It is shown that the presence of this external field modifies the dispersion relation for this mode which now possesses a nonzero frequency. The explicit expression for the real and imaginary parts of the frequency is then calculated. It turns out that the linear growth rate remains unchanged, whereas the frequency becomes nonzero due to the finite value of the electron cyclotron frequency. The frequency of the Weibel mode is found to be proportional to the electron temperature anisotropy. The formal similarity of the Weibel and drift-mirror instabilities is outlined.