Fr.: onde de Langmuir
A disturbance of a → plasma in the form of a longitudinal, → electrostatic wave that propagates in the plasma due to variations in the plasma's electron density. More specifically, Langmuir waves are collective oscillations of inhomogeneous bunches of electrons displaced from their natural equilibrium, in which the inertia of the relatively massive ions serves to establish an electrostatic restoring force that tries to bring the electrons back to their equilibrium positions. → Landau damping causes dissipation of Langmuir waves as the electrons are either accelerated or decelerated so as to be in resonance with the phase velocity of the waves themselves.
Irving Langmuir (1881-1957), American chemist and physicist, Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1932; → wave.