The first kinetic study of transient growth for a collisionless homogeneous Maxwellian plasma in a uniform magnetic field is presented. A system which is linearly stable may display transient growth if the linear operator describing its evolution is non-normal so that its eigenvectors are nonorthogonal. In order to include plasma kinetic effects, a Landau fluid model is employed. The linear operator of the model is shown to be non-normal and the results suggest that the non-normality of a collisionless plasma is intrinsically related to its kinetic nature, with the transient growth being more accentuated for smaller scales and higher plasma beta. The results based on linear spectral theory have been confirmed with nonlinear simulations.
Camporeale, E., Burgess, D. and Passot, T., "Transient growth in stable collisionless plasma", Physics of Plasmas, 16, pp. 030703-1 030703-4 (2009) (doi:10.1063/1.3094759)