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The paper discusses the dispersion relation for longitudinal electron waves propagating in a collisionless, homogeneous isotropic plasma, which contains both Maxwellian and suprathermal electrons. It is found that the dispersion curve, known to have two separate branches for zero suprathermal energy spread, depends sensitively on this quantity. As the energy half-width of the suprathermal population increases, the branches approach each other until they touch at a connexion point, for a smalldoi:10.1017/s0022377800025484 fatcat:jp5djca7gfdnngmtrks7zcvsb4