MEASURING COLLISIONLESS DAMPING IN HELIOSPHERIC PLASMAS USING FIELD\textendashPARTICLE CORRELATIONS

Author
Keywords
Abstract
<p>An innovative field-particle correlation technique is proposed that uses single-point measurements of the electromagnetic fields and particle velocity distribution functions to investigate the net transfer of energy from fields to particles associated with the collisionless damping of turbulent fluctuations in weakly collisional plasmas, such as the solar wind. In addition to providing a direct estimate of the local rate of energy transfer between fields and particles, it provides vital new information about the distribution of that energy transfer in velocity space. This velocity-space signature can potentially be used to identify the dominant collisionless mechanism responsible for the damping of turbulent fluctuations in the solar wind. The application of this novel field-particle correlation technique is illustrated using the simplified case of the Landau damping of Langmuir waves in an electrostatic 1D-1V Vlasov-Poisson plasma, showing that the procedure both estimates the local rate of energy transfer from the electrostatic field to the electrons and indicates the resonant nature of this interaction. Modifications of the technique to enable single-point spacecraft measurements of fields and particles to diagnose the collisionless damping of turbulent fluctuations in the solar wind are discussed, yielding a method with the potential to transform our ability to maximize the scientific return from current and upcoming spacecraft missions, such as the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) and Solar Probe Plus missions.</p>
Year of Publication
2016
Journal
The Astrophysical Journal
Volume
826
Number of Pages
L30
Date Published
08/2016
URL
http://stacks.iop.org/2041-8205/826/i=2/a=L30?key=crossref.1f33350dac6f20e78faa0a9e9d852985http://stacks.iop.org/2041-8205/826/i=2/a=L30/pdfhttp://stacks.iop.org/2041-8205/826/i=2/a=L30?key=crossref.1f33350dac6f20e78faa0a9e9d852985
DOI
10.3847/2041-8205/826/2/L30