Articles | Volume 20, issue 8
31 Aug 2002
 | 31 Aug 2002

Ion sense of polarization of the electromagnetic wave field in the electron whistler frequency band

B. Lundin and C. Krafft

Abstract. It is shown that the left-hand (or ion-type) sense of polarization can appear in the field interference pattern of two plane electron whistler waves. Moreover, it is demonstrated that the ion-type polarized wave electric fields can be accompanied by the presence at the same observation point of electron-type polarized wave magnetic fields. The registration of ion-type polarized fields with frequencies between the highest ion gyrofrequency and the electron gyrofrequency in a cold, overdense plasma is a sufficient indication for the existence of an interference wave pattern, which can typically occur near artificial or natural reflecting magnetospheric plasma regions, inside waveguides (as in helicon discharges, for example), in fields resonantly emitted by beams of charged particles or, in principle, in some self-sustained, nonlinear wave field structures. A comparison with the conventional spectral matrix data processing approach is also presented in order to facilitate the calculations of the analyzed polarization parameters.

Key words. Ionosphere (wave propagation) Radio science (waves in plasma) Space plasma physics (general or miscellaneous)