The friction in multi-component plasmas is discussed, and its effects on ion acoustic (IA) and drift waves. In the case of the IA wave it is shown that the friction between the two species has no effect on the mode in a quasi-neutral plasma. Using the Poisson equation instead of the quasi-neutrality reveals the possibility for an instability driven by the collisional energy transfer. However, the different starting temperatures of the two species imply an evolving background. It is shown that the relaxation time of the background electron-ion plasma is, in fact, always shorter than the growth rate time. Therefore the instability is unlikely to develop. The drift wave instability is also reexamined taking into account the ion response in the direction parallel to the magnetic field lines, which appears due to friction with electrons and which can not be omitted in view of the momentum conservation. A modified instability threshold is obtained. In plasmas with dominant electron collisions with neutrals, the instability threshold is shifted towards higher frequencies, compared to the case of dominant electron collisions with ions. The difference between the two cases vanishes when the ion sound response is negligible, i.e., when the instability threshold disappears, and both ions and neutrals react to the electron friction in the same manner. The results obtained here should contribute to the definite clarification of some contradictory results obtained in the past.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)