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Linear instability of nonmonotone plasmas

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We consider the relativistic Vlasov-Maxwell system of equations which describes the evolution of a collisionless charged plasma. We show that under rather general conditions, one can test for linear instability by checking the spectral properties of Schrodinger-type operators that act only on the spatial variable, not the full phase space. This extends previous results that show linear and nonlinear stability and instability in more restrictive settings.

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