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Echoes in a plasma are the excitement of new waves due to nonlinear interaction. The excitement may happen at an arbitrarily large time, which is the main source of difficulties in understanding Landau damping. For analytic data, the echoes are suppressed as the electric field is exponentially localized in time, and the nonlinear Landau damping holds for such data, as was first obtained by Mouhot and Villani in their celebrated work (Acta Math 2011; see also the extension to include Gevrey data). The nonlinear Landau damping remains largely elusive for less regular data (e.g., data with Sobolev regularity).

Recently, in a collaboration with E. Grenier (ENS Lyon) and I. Rodnianski (Princeton), we give an elementary proof of the known Landau damping results, which I also blogged it here, that were seen as a simple perturbation of the free transport dynamics, whose damping is direct (that is, the phase mixing). In the companion paper with E. Grenier and I. Rodnianski, we construct a class of echo solutions, which are arbitrarily large in any Sobolev spaces (in particular, they do not belong to the analytic or Gevrey classes studied by Mouhot and Villani), but nonetheless, the nonlinear Landau damping holds. In this blog post, I shall briefly discuss the plasma echo mechanism and our new results.

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