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A theoretical study is presented of the electrostatic electron cyclotron instability involving Bernstein modes in a magnetized plasma. The presence of a tenuous thermal ring distribution in a Maxwellian plasma decreases the frequency of the upper hybrid branch of the electron Bernstein mode until it merges with the nearest lower branch with a resulting instability. The instability occurs when the upper hybrid frequency is somewhat above the third, fourth, and higher electron cyclotron harmonics, and gives rise to a narrow spectrum of waves around the electron cyclotron harmonic nearest to the upper hybrid frequency. For a tenuous cold ring distribution together with a Maxwellian distribution an instability can take place also near the second electron cyclotron harmonic. Noise-free Vlasov simulations are used to assess the theoretical linear growth-rates and frequency spectra, and to study the nonlinear evolution of the instability. The relevance of the results to laboratory and ionospheric heating experiments is discussed.
- electrostatic electron cyclotron instability
- thermal ring distribution
- delta-function ring distribution
- bernstein modes
- Maxwellian distribution
- ionospheric heating
- magnetized plasmas
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- 1 Finished
26/01/15 → 25/07/18
Electrostatic electron cyclotron instabilities near the upper hybrid layer due to electron ring distributions