Articles | Volume 24, issue 8
13 Sep 2006
 | 13 Sep 2006

Spatial structure and dispersion of drift mirror waves coupled with Alfvén waves in a 1-D inhomogeneous plasma

D. Yu. Klimushkin

Abstract. The paper employs the frame of a 1-D inhomogeneous model of space plasma,to examine the spatial structure and growth rate of drift mirror modes, often suggested for interpreting some oscillation types in space plasma. Owing to its coupling with the Alfvén mode, the drift mirror mode attains dispersion across magnetic shells (dependence of the frequency on the wave-vector's radial component, kr). The spatial structure of a mode confined across magnetic shells is studied. The scale of spatial localization of the wave is shown to be determined by the plasma inhomogeneity scale and by the azimuthal component of the wave vector. The wave propagates across magnetic shells, its amplitude modulated along the radial coordinate by the Gauss function. Coupling with the Alfvén mode strongly influences the growth rate of the drift mirror instability. The mirror mode can only exist in a narrow range of parameters. In the general case, the mode represents an Alfvén wave modified by plasma inhomogeneity.