2012 Volume 7 Pages 1301002
The new phenomenon of a spontaneous magnetic field in spatially inhomogeneous plasma is found. The criteria for instability are determined, and both the linear and nonlinear stages of the magnetic field growth are considered; it is shown that the magnetic field can reach a considerable magnitude, namely, its pressure can be comparable with the plasma pressure. Especially large magnetic fields can arise in hot plasma with a high electron density, for example, in laser-heated plasma. In steady-state plasma, the magnetic field can be self-sustaining. The considered magnetic fields may play an important role in thermal insulation of the plasma.