Anomalous decay of Langmuir turbulence

Gregory Benford, Xiaoling Zhai, David Levron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


A Stark effect diagnostic yields measurements of the electric field distribution of Langmuir waves, P(E), in beam-plasma turbulence. When the destabilizing beam abruptly cuts off, the form of P(E) ∝ exp( - E 2) discovered earlier persists, with amplitude decaying exponentially in a microsecond. Strong fields last much longer than other time scales in strong turbulence theory. Exponential decay disagrees with recent power law scalings deduced from cascade theory. A possible explanation envisions Langmuir energy persisting at long wavelengths, slowly coalescing around nucleation density wells left by previous, "burnt-out" solitons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)560-563
Number of pages4
JournalPhysics of Fluids B
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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