On the physical explanation of the Perkins instability

Qina Zhou, John David Mathews

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    14 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Perkins' instability theory (1973) provides a reasonable theoretical explanation for the midlatitude ionospheric spread-F phenomenon. Although his derivation process and model are correct, the physical explanation provided can be improved. In this paper a plasma motion-balanced view of the Perkins instability is provided as an improvement to the Perkins force-balanced explanation. We derive the growth rate equation with neutral wind present and show that the new approach yields the same growth rate equation given by Perkins (1973) when the neutral wind is zero. Additionally, a new mathematical approach yields the same result and identifies the source term of the instability.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article numberA12309
    JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
    Volume111
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Geophysics
    • Forestry
    • Oceanography
    • Aquatic Science
    • Ecology
    • Water Science and Technology
    • Soil Science
    • Geochemistry and Petrology
    • Earth-Surface Processes
    • Atmospheric Science
    • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
    • Space and Planetary Science
    • Palaeontology

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