Resonant three-wave interaction in the presence of suprathermal electron fluxes
Abstract. A theoretical and numerical model is presented which describes the nonlinear interaction of lower hybrid waves with a non-equilibrium electron distribution function in a magnetized plasma. The paper presents some relevant examples of numerical simulations which show the nonlinear evolution of a set of three waves interacting at various resonance velocities with a flux of electrons presenting some anisotropy in the parallel velocity distribution (suprathermal tail); in particular, the case when the interactions between the waves are neglected (for sufficiently small waves' amplitudes) is compared to the case when the three waves follow a resonant decay process. A competition between excitation (due to the fan instability with tail electrons or to the bump-in-tail instability at the Landau resonances) and damping processes (involving bulk electrons at the Landau resonances) takes place for each wave, depending on the strength of the wave-wave coupling, on the linear growth rates of the waves and on the modifications of the particles' distribution resulting from the linear and nonlinear wave-particle interactions. It is shown that the energy carried by the suprathermal electron tail is more effectively transfered to lower energy electrons in the presence of wave-wave interactions.