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Regime transition of ion Bernstein instability driven by ion shell velocity distributions


Min, Kyungguk
Liu, Kaijun


Linear kinetic dispersion theory is used to investigate a regime transition of the ion Bernstein instability driven by a proton velocity distribution with positive slopes with respect to the perpendicular velocity, f(p)(v(vertical bar)approximate to 0,v)/v>0. The unstable waves arising from this instability are ion Bernstein waves with proton cyclotron harmonic dispersion. However, in the inner magnetosphere, particularly inside of the plasmapause where plasmas are dominated by a cold background, the instability leads to ion Bernstein waves which approximately follow the cold plasma dispersion relation for fast magnetosonic waves and are, therefore, fast magnetosonic-like. Subsequently, the relevant waves have been termed fast magnetosonic waves and many studies have assumed the cold plasma dispersion relation to describe them. On the other hand, how the dispersion properties of ion Bernstein waves become fast magnetosonic-like has not yet been well understood. To examine this regime transition of the instability, we perform linear dispersion analyses using a two-component proton model of f(p)(v) = f(M)(v) + f(s)(v), where f(M) is a Maxwellian velocity distribution and f(s) is an isotropic shell velocity distribution. The results show that the unstable waves are essentially ion Bernstein waves; however, when the shell proton concentration becomes sufficiently small (less than 10), the unstable waves approach the cold plasma dispersion relation for fast magnetosonic waves and become fast magnetosonic-like. Although a reduced proton-to-electron mass ratio of 100 has been used for convenience, which reduces the number of unstable modes involved by lowering the lower hybrid frequency, this does not change the overall regime transition picture revealed in this study.