Three-dimensional instability of two nonlinearly coupled electromagnetic waves in a plasma

Lennart Stenflo, Bengt Eliasson, Mattias Marklund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The three-dimensional instability of two coupled electromagnetic waves in an unmagnetized plasma is investigated theoretically and numerically. In the regime of two-plasmon decay, where one pump wave frequency is approximately twice the electron plasma frequency, we find that the coupled pump waves give rise to enhanced instability with wavevectors between those of the two beams. In the case of ion parametric decay instability, where the pump wave decays into one Langmuir wave and one ion acoustic wave, the instability regions are added with no distinct amplification. Our investigation can be useful in interpreting laser-plasma as well as ionospheric heating experiments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-379
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Plasma Physics
Issue number3
Early online date6 Dec 2007
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2008


  • plasma
  • electromagnetic waves


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