Research in Engineering and Aviation

Relativistic Twostream Instability

February 2010

Author(s): L. Samuelsson, C.S. Lopez-Monsalvo, N. Andersson, and G. L. Comer

Journal: General Relativity and Gravitation, pp. 413-433. DOI: 10.1007/s10714-009-0861-3


We study the (local) propagation of plane waves in a relativistic, non- dissipative, two-fluid system, allowing for a relative velocity in the “background” configuration. The main aim is to analyze relativistic two-stream instability. This instability requires a relative flow—either across an interface or when two or more fluids interpenetrate—and can be triggered, for example, when one-dimensional plane-waves appear to be left-moving with respect to one fluid, but right-moving with respect to another. The dispersion relation of the two-fluid system is studied for different two-fluid equations of state: (i) the “free” (where there is no direct coupling between the fluid densities), (ii) coupled, and (iii) entrained (where the fluid momenta are linear combinations of the velocities) cases are considered in a frame-independent fashion ( restriction to the rest-frame of either fluid). As a by-product of our analysis we determine the necessary conditions for a two-fluid system to be causal and absolutely stable and establish a new constraint on the entrainment.

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