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Title: Two-stream instability with a growth rate insensitive to collisions in a dissipative plasma jet
The two-stream instability (Buneman instability) is traditionally derived as a collisionless instability with the presumption that collisions inhibit this instability. We show here via a combination of a collisional two-fluid model and associated experimental observations made in the Caltech plasma jet experiment, that in fact, a low-frequency mode of the two-stream instability is indifferent to collisions. Despite the collision frequency greatly exceeding the growth rate of the instability, the instability can still cause an exponential growth of electron velocity and a rapid depletion of particle density. Nevertheless, high collisionality has an important effect as it enables the development of a double layer when the cross section of the plasma jet is constricted by a kink-instigated Rayleigh–Taylor instability.  more » « less
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Physics of Plasmas
Medium: X
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National Science Foundation
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