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Effects of Electron Drifts on the Collisionless Damping of Kinetic Alfvén Waves in the Solar Wind

Tong, Y; Bale, SD; Chen, CHK; Salem, CS; Verscharen, D; (2015) Effects of Electron Drifts on the Collisionless Damping of Kinetic Alfvén Waves in the Solar Wind. The Astrophysical Journal Letters , 804 (2) , Article L36. 10.1088/2041-8205/804/2/L36. Green open access

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Abstract

The collisionless dissipation of anisotropic Alfvénic turbulence is a promising candidate to solve the solar wind heating problem. Extensive studies examined the kinetic properties of Alfvén waves in simple Maxwellian or bi-Maxwellian plasmas. However, the observed electron velocity distribution functions in the solar wind are more complex. In this study, we analyze the properties of kinetic Alfvén waves (KAWs) in a plasma with two drifting electron populations. We numerically solve the linearized Maxwell–Vlasov equations and find that the damping rate and the proton–electron energy partition for KAWs are significantly modified in such plasmas, compared to plasmas without electron drifts. We suggest that electron drift is an important factor to take into account when considering the dissipation of Alfvénic turbulence in the solar wind or other β ~ 1 astrophysical plasmas.

Type: Article
Title: Effects of Electron Drifts on the Collisionless Damping of Kinetic Alfvén Waves in the Solar Wind
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/804/2/L36
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1088/2041-8205/804/2/L36
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: acceleration of particles; plasmas; solar wind; turbulence; waves
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Space and Climate Physics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10081145
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