Stream instabilities in relativistically hot plasma

Rashid Shaisultanov, Yuri Lyubarsky, David Eichler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The growth rates for Weibel and Buneman instabilities of relativistic ion beams in a relativistically hot electron background are derived analytically for general propagation angles. The Weibel instability perpendicular to the streaming direction is found to be the fastest growing mode and probably the first to appear. Oblique, quasiperpendicular modes grow almost as fast as the growth rate varies only moderately with angle, and they may distort or corrugate the filaments after the perpendicular mode saturates. The growth rate of the purely longitudinal (Buneman) mode is significantly smaller, contrary to the non-relativistic case. The results are consistent with simulations, which display aligned magnetic filaments and their subsequent disruption.

Original languageEnglish
Article number182
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 10 Jan 2012


  • instabilities
  • magnetic fields
  • plasmas
  • shock waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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