Theory of transverse surface electromagnetic waves propagating along a plasma-metal boundary with a finite radius of curvature in a magnetic field

Research paper by V. A. Girka

Indexed on: 01 May '06Published on: 01 May '06Published in: Plasma Physics Reports


The spectra of electromagnetic waves propagating perpendicular to the axis of a plasma-filled metal waveguide in a magnetic field are studied with allowance for the effects exerted upon the wave frequency by the radial plasma density variation and by the emission of waves through a narrow axial slit in a waveguide wall. The case of wave propagation along the boundary between a plasma and a cylindrical metal waveguide wall with a periodically varying radius of curvature is also considered. The electromagnetic properties of the plasma are described by a dielectric tensor in the hydrodynamic approximation. The spatial distribution of the wave field is determined by the method of successive approximations. Results are presented from both analytical and numerical investigations. Analytical expressions for the corrections to the wave frequency due to the emission of the wave energy from the waveguide and due to the slight corrugation of the waveguide wall are obtained. The rates of wave damping due to the emission of the wave energy through a narrow axial slit and due to collisions between the plasma particles are found. The correction to the frequency that comes from the periodic variation of the radius of curvature of the plasma surface is calculated to within terms proportional to the square of the small parameter describing the azimuthal corrugation of the waveguide wall. The effect of the radial plasma density variation on the dispersion of the surface modes is examined both analytically and numerically.