Kinetic phenomena of helical plasma waves with orbital angular momentum

Publication type

D. Blackman, R. Nuter, Ph. Korneev, A. Arefiev, and V. Tikhonchuk, "Kinetic phenomena of helical plasma waves with orbital angular momentum",  Physics of Plasmas 29, 072105 (2022).


An accurate description of plasma waves is fundamental for the understanding of many plasma phenomena. It is possible to twist plasma waves such that, in addition to having longitudinal motion, they can possess a quantized orbital angular momentum. One such type of plasma wave is the Laguerre–Gaussian mode. Three-dimensional numerical particle-in-cell simulations demonstrate the existence of stable long-lived plasma waves with orbital angular momentum. These waves can be shown to create large amplitude static magnetic fields with unique twisted longitudinal structures. In this paper, we review the recent progress in studies of helical plasma waves and present a new analytical description of a standing Laguerre–Gaussian plasma wave mode along with 3D particle-in-cell simulation results. The Landau damping of twisted plasma waves shows important differences compared to standard longitudinal plasma wave Landau damping. These effects include an increased damping rate, which is affected by both the focal width and the orbital number of the plasma wave. This increase in the damping rate is of the same order as the thermal correction. Moreover, the direction of momentum picked up by resonant particles from the twisted plasma wave can be significantly altered. By contrast, the radial electric field has a subtle effect on the trajectories of resonant electrons.