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Dynamical stability of infinite homogeneous self-gravitating systems and plasmas: application of the Nyquist method

Regular Article

Abstract

We complete classical investigations concerning the dynamical stability of an infinite homogeneous gaseous medium described by the Euler-Poisson system or an infinite homogeneous stellar system described by the Vlasov-Poisson system (Jeans problem). To determine the stability of an infinite homogeneous stellar system with respect to a perturbation of wavenumber k, we apply the Nyquist method. We first consider the case of single-humped distributions and show that, for infinite homogeneous systems, the onset of instability is the same in a stellar system and in the corresponding barotropic gas, contrary to the case of inhomogeneous systems. We show that this result is true for any symmetric single-humped velocity distribution, not only for the Maxwellian. If we specialize on isothermal distributions, analytical expressions for the growth rate, damping rate and pulsation period of the perturbation can be given. Then, we consider the Vlasov stability of symmetric and asymmetric double-humped distributions (two-streams stellar systems) and determine the stability diagrams depending on the drift velocity and on the degree of asymmetry. We compare these results with the Euler stability of two self-gravitating gaseous streams. Finally, we study the same problems in the case of plasmas and compare the results with self-gravitating systems.

Keywords

Statistical and Nonlinear Physics 

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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Physique Théorique (IRSAMC), CNRS and UPS, Université de ToulouseToulouseFrance

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