Nonlinear developments of a bounded electron beam-plasma system including stationary electrons are investigated experimentally. A stable double layer is formed as a result of ion trapping in a growing negative potential dip induced by the Pierce instability above the current regime of the Buneman instability. In the in-between regime of the Buneman and Pierce instabilities, energetic ions are observed. This effective ion heating is caused by ion detrapping due to double-layer disruption, being consistent with computer simulation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)