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Magnetosonic wave

A magnetosonic wave is a longitudinal wave[1] of ions (and electrons) in a magnetized plasma propagating perpendicular to the stationary magnetic field. The wave is dispersionless with a phase velocity ω/k given by


where vs is the speed of the ion acoustic wave, vA is the speed of the Alfvén wave, and c is the speed of light in vacuum.

In the limit of low magnetic field (vA→0), the wave turns into an ordinary ion acoustic wave. In the limit of low temperature (vs→0), the wave becomes a modified Alfvén wave. Because the phase velocity of the magnetosonic mode is almost always larger than vA, the magnetosonic wave is often called the "fast" hydromagnetic wave.


  1. ^ The wave is longitudinal in the perturbation of the fluid velocity, although the perturbation of the magnetic field is transverse. See Schmidt, Physics of High Temperature Plasmas, p.101.

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Magnetosonic_wave". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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