The nonlinear evolution of whistler-mode chorus: modulation instability as the source of tones

Daniel J. Ratliff*, Oliver Allanson

*Corresponding author for this work

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We review the modulation stability of parallel propagating/field aligned Whistler Mode Chorus waves propagating in a warm plasma from a formal perspective with a focus on wave-particle interactions. The modulation instability criteria is characterised by a curvature of the dispersion relation for Whistler mode waves and a condition on the ratio between the group velocity $c_g$ and the electron sound speed $c_s,e$. We also demonstrate the in order to investigate the spatiotemporal evolution of the envelope and the formation of packets, one necessarily needs to account for the motion of ions within the system, leading to an ionic influence on the modulation instability threshold determined by the ion fraction of the plasma. Finally, we demonstrate that chirping may be captured when higher order effects are included within the spatiotemporal evolution of the amplitude. This yields not only an explicit expression for the sweep rate but identifies a possible origin for the power band gap that occurs at half the electron gyrofrequency. Numerical validation demonstrates that the interaction between wave packets is a source for the emergence of tones observed within mission data, and such interactions may be a major source of the electron energisation which Whistler-Mode chorus are responsible for.
Original languageEnglish
Article number905890607
Pages (from-to)1-34
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Plasma Physics
Issue number6
Early online date12 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2023

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