Theory of relativistic phase-space holes in a hot-electron-positron-ion plasma

B. Eliasson, P. K. Shukla

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A theoretical and numerical study of phase-space holes in a relativistically hot-electron-positron-ion plasma is presented, and their potential and density profiles are calculated numerically for different sets of parameters. The phase-space holes are Bernstein–Greene–Kruskal modes in which particles are trapped in the self-consistent electrostatic potential. Relativistic effects increase the size of the phase-space hole and the amplitude of the associated electrostatic potential. In a pure electron-positron plasma, the phase-space holes must have a minimum speed close to the particle thermal speed. The presence of positively charged ions makes the holes smaller, and stabilizes the holes so that they can propagate with smaller speeds. A numerical Vlasov simulation demonstrates the stability of the holes and that they tend to interact and merge to form new holes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104501
Number of pages4
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2005


  • phase-space holes
  • electron-positron-ion plasmas
  • relativistic

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