Long-wavelength mirror modes in multispecies plasmas with arbitrary distributions

M. Gedalin, M. Balikhin, R. J. Strangeway, C. T. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We perform a general analysis of the long-wavelength mirror instability in multispecies plasmas with generally non-Maxwellian distributions. The general dispersion relation depends on several moments of the distribution function, in addition to the perpendicular and parallel temperature. A most general condition of the mirror instability is derived that is valid for any gyrotropic distribution functions of the plasma species and any number of species. Deviations of the bi-Maxwellian shape may be favorable for the mirror instability but may also suppress it. The resulting effect is rather sensitive to the details of the distribution function.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue numberA2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2002


  • Anisotropy
  • Magnetosheath
  • Mirror instability
  • Mirror modes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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