We have experimentally studied the behavior of Alfvén wave packets in a dissipative plasma due to ion neutral-atom collisions. It is urged that the central frequency of the packet is observed to gradually decrease with traveling distance in the absorption range of frequencies because of a differential damping among the Fourier components, and that the measured average velocity of its peak amplitude is not accounted for by the conventional group velocity, but by the prediction derived by Tanaka, Fujiwara, and Ikegami [Phys. Rev. A 34, 4851 (1986)]. Furthermore, when the initial central frequency is close to the critical frequency in the anomalous dispersion, the wave packet apparently collapses when traveling along the magnetic field; however, we have found that it is decomposed into another two wave packets with the central frequencies being higher or lower than the critical frequency.
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