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The weakly relativistic description of wave propagation and absorption in the electron cyclotron range of frequencies is reviewed. After a brief discussion of the relativistic cyclotron resonance condition, the weakly relativistic dielectric tensor of a Maxwellian plasma is derived in the form which is now canonical, in terms of the relativistic plasma dispersion functions of Dnestrovsky and Skarofsky. The most useful analytic properties of these functions are summarised. The small Larmor radius approximation is then calculated, which is sufficient for most practical purposes when investigating electron cyclotron heating and current drive in tokamak plasmas. Finally, solutions of the finite Larmor radius dispersion relation near the fundamental and its first harmonic are presented, emphasising in particular the shape of the cyclotron absorption lines and the differences between the relativistic results and the classical limit.

Additional information

Authors: BRAMBILLA M, Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik, Garching bei München (DE)
Bibliographic Reference: Report: IPP 5/62 EN (1995) 49 pp.
Availability: Available from Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik, 8046 Garching bei München (DE)
Record Number: 199511227 / Last updated on: 1995-10-13
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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