Nonlinear stability of solar type III radio bursts. I. Theory





Citation of Original Publication

Smith, R. A., M. L. Goldstein, and K. Papadopoulos. “Nonlinear Stability of Solar Type III Radio Bursts. I. Theory.” The Astrophysical Journal 234 (November 1, 1979): 348–62.


This work was written as part of one of the author's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under U.S. Law.
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A theory of the excitation of solar type III bursts is presented. Electrons initially unstable to the linear bump-in-tail instability are shown to rapidly amplify Langmuir waves to energy densities characteristic of strong turbulence. The three-dimensional equations which describe the strong coupling (wave-wave) interactions are derived. For parameters characteristic of the interplanetary medium the equations reduce to one-dimension. In that case the oscillating two-stream instability (OTSI) is the dominant nonlinear instability. OTSI is stabilized through the production of nonlinear ion density fluctuations that efficiently scatter Langmuir waves out of resonance with the electron beam. An analytical model of the electron distribution function is also developed which is used to estimate the total energy losses suffered by the electron beam as it propagates from the solar corona to 1 AU and beyond.