Theoretical Prediction of Asymmetric Instability of Drift Kinetic Alfven Waves in Anisotropic Plasmas

M. F. Bashir, Lunjin Chen, Raluca Ilie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The asymmetric instability of drift kinetic Alfvén waves (DKAWs) is analyzed to study the interplay between the density inhomogeneity and the temperature anisotropy, including the wave-particle interaction and finite ion Larmor radius effects. The asymmetric behavior arises due to the opposite diamagnetic drifts of electrons and ions and quantifies the contribution of electron drift waves and ion drift waves in altering the dispersion characteristic of DKAWs. It is shown that the coupling of drift waves with kinetic Alfvén waves leads to the generation of three different frequency (i.e., higher, intermediate, and lower) modes of DKAWs. The comparison of their propagation characteristics and stability mechanisms applicable to a wide range of plasma parameters is provided. The analytical dispersion relation can be used as an improved theoretical tool for identifying the existence of DKAWs and their source region in the multisatellite observations, especially near the reconnection X-line.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4414-4423
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • asymmetric drift instability
  • drift kinetic Alfven waves
  • drift kinetic theory
  • inhomogeneous plasma
  • magnetic reconnection
  • temperature anisotropy
  • wave-particle interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Geophysics

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