Plasma Physics pp 116-135 | Cite as

General Theory of Linear Waves

  • Kyoji Nishikawa
  • Masahiro Wakatani


Plasma sustains various types of waves. Waves in a plasma often act as the carriers of energy and momentum and can be considered to be elementary excitations in a plasma. Waves in a plasma can generally be represented by electromagnetic fluctuations and/or density perturbations. The propagation characteristics of the wave are determined by the average properties of the plasma. In many cases of interest, waves can be treated by linear approximations. If in the absence of wave fluctuation a plasma is spatially uniform and temporally stationary, then the waves propagate as plane waves and the frequency and wavenumber satisfy the linear dispersion relation determined by the properties of the unperturbed state.


Dispersion Relation Displacement Current Dielectric Tensor Alfven Wave Drift Current 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyoji Nishikawa
    • 1
  • Masahiro Wakatani
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of ScienceHiroshima UniversityHiroshima 730Japan
  2. 2.Plasma Physics LaboratoryKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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