Journal cover Journal topic
Annales Geophysicae An open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Ann. Geophys., 30, 427-431, 2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
ANGEO Communicates
28 Feb 2012
A note on the Weibel instability and thermal fluctuations
R. A. Treumann1,2 and W. Baumjohann3 1Department of Geophysics and Environmental Sciences, Munich University, Munich, Germany
2Department of Physics and Astronomy, Dartmouth College, Hanover NH 03755, USA
3Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Graz, Austria
Abstract. The thermal fluctuation level of the Weibel instability is recalculated. It is shown that the divergence of the fluctuations at long wavelengths, i.e. the Weibel infrared catastrophe, never occurs. At large wavelengths the thermal fluctuation level is terminated by the presence of even the smallest available stable thermal anisotropy. Weibel fields penetrate only one skin depth into the plasma. When excited inside, they cause layers of antiparallel fields of skin depth width and vortices which may be subject to reconnection.

Citation: Treumann, R. A. and Baumjohann, W.: A note on the Weibel instability and thermal fluctuations, Ann. Geophys., 30, 427-431,, 2012.
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