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Filters: Author is Chandran, Benjamin D. G.  [Clear All Filters]
Authors: McManus Michael D., Bowen Trevor A., Mallet Alfred, Chen Christopher H. K., Chandran Benjamin D. G., et al.
Title: Cross Helicity Reversals in Magnetic Switchbacks

We consider 2D joint distributions of normalized residual energy, σr(s, t), and cross helicity, σc(s, t), during one day of Parker Solar Probe's (PSP's) first encounter as a function of wavelet scale s. The broad features of the distributions are similar to previous observations made by Helios in slow solar wind, namely well-correlated and fairly Alfvénic wind, except for a population with negative cross helicity that is seen at shorter wavelet scales. We show that this population is due to the presence of magnetic switchbacks, or brief periods where the magnetic field polarity reverses. Such switchbacks have been observed before, both in Helios data and in Ulysses data in the polar solar wind. Their abundance and short timescales as seen by PSP in its first enc. . .
Date: 02/2020 Publisher: The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series Pages: 67 DOI: 10.3847/1538-4365/ab6dce Available at:
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Authors: Martinović Mihailo M., Klein Kristopher G., Kasper Justin C., Case Anthony W., Korreck Kelly E., et al.
Title: The Enhancement of Proton Stochastic Heating in the Near-Sun Solar Wind

Stochastic heating (SH) is a nonlinear heating mechanism driven by the violation of magnetic moment invariance due to large-amplitude turbulent fluctuations producing diffusion of ions toward higher kinetic energies in the direction perpendicular to the magnetic field. It is frequently invoked as a mechanism responsible for the heating of ions in the solar wind. Here, we quantify for the first time the proton SH rate Q at radial distances from the Sun as close as 0.16 au, using measurements from the first two Parker Solar Probe encounters. Our results for both the amplitude and radial trend of the heating rate, Q ∝ r−2.5, agree with previous results based on the Helios data set at heliocentric distances from 0.3 to 0.9 au. Also in agreement wit. . .
Date: 02/2020 Publisher: The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series Pages: 30 DOI: 10.3847/1538-4365/ab527f Available at:
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Authors: Bowen Trevor A., Mallet Alfred, Huang Jia, Klein Kristopher G., Malaspina David M., et al.
Title: Ion-scale Electromagnetic Waves in the Inner Heliosphere

Understanding the physical processes in the solar wind and corona that actively contribute to heating, acceleration, and dissipation is a primary objective of NASA's Parker Solar Probe (PSP) mission. Observations of circularly polarized electromagnetic waves at ion scales suggest that cyclotron resonance and wave─particle interactions are dynamically relevant in the inner heliosphere. A wavelet-based statistical study of circularly polarized events in the first perihelion encounter of PSP demonstrates that transverse electromagnetic waves at ion resonant scales are observed in 30─50% of radial field intervals. Average wave amplitudes of approximately 4 nT are measured, while the mean duration of wave events is on the order of 20 s; however, long-duration wave events can exist withou. . .
Date: 02/2020 Publisher: The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series Pages: 66 DOI: 10.3847/1538-4365/ab6c65 Available at:
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Authors: Horbury Timothy S., Woolley Thomas, Laker Ronan, Matteini Lorenzo, Eastwood Jonathan, et al.
Title: Sharp Alfvénic Impulses in the Near-Sun Solar Wind

Measurements of the near-Sun solar wind by the Parker Solar Probe have revealed the presence of large numbers of discrete Alfvénic impulses with an anti-sunward sense of propagation. These are similar to those previously observed near 1 au, in high speed streams over the Sun's poles and at 60 solar radii. At 35 solar radii, however, they are typically shorter and sharper than seen elsewhere. In addition, these spikes occur in "patches" and there are also clear periods within the same stream when they do not occur; the timescale of these patches might be related to the rate at which the spacecraft magnetic footpoint tracks across the coronal hole from which the plasma originated. While the velocity fluctuations associated with these spikes are typically under 100 km s−1, du. . .
Date: 02/2020 Publisher: The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series Pages: 45 DOI: 10.3847/1538-4365/ab5b15 Available at:
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Authors: Verscharen Daniel, Chandran Benjamin D. G., Jeong Seong-Yeop, Salem Chadi S., Pulupa Marc P., et al.
Title: Self-induced Scattering of Strahl Electrons in the Solar Wind

We investigate the scattering of strahl electrons by microinstabilities as a mechanism for creating the electron halo in the solar wind. We develop a mathematical framework for the description of electron-driven microinstabilities and discuss the associated physical mechanisms. We find that an instability of the oblique fast-magnetosonic/whistler (FM/W) mode is the best candidate for a microinstability that scatters strahl electrons into the halo. We derive approximate analytic expressions for the FM/W instability threshold in two different β c regimes, where β c is the ratio of the core electrons’ thermal pressure to the magnetic pressure, and confirm the accuracy of these thresholds through comparison with numerical solutions to the hot-plasma dispersion rela. . .
Date: 12/2019 Publisher: The Astrophysical Journal Pages: 136 DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/ab4c30 Available at:
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Authors: Chandran Benjamin D. G.
Title: Parametric instability, inverse cascade and the  range of solar-wind turbulence

In this paper, weak-turbulence theory is used to investigate the nonlinear evolution of the parametric instability in three-dimensional low-β plasmas at wavelengths much greater than the ion inertial length under the assumption that slow magnetosonic waves are strongly damped. It is shown analytically that the parametric instability leads to an inverse cascade of Alfvén wave quanta, and several exact solutions to the wave kinetic equations are presented. The main results of the paper concern the parametric decay of Alfvén waves that initially satisfy e+ ≫ e-, where e+ and e- are the frequency (f) spectra of Alfvén waves propagating in opposite directions along the magnetic field lines. If e+ initially has a peak frequency fDate: 02/2018 Publisher: Journal of Plasma Physics DOI: 10.1017/S0022377818000016 Available at:
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Authors: Klein Kristopher G., and Chandran Benjamin D. G.

We investigate how the proton distribution function evolves when the protons undergo stochastic heating by strong, low-frequency, Alfvén-wave turbulence under the assumption that β is small. We apply our analysis to protons undergoing stochastic heating in the supersonic fast solar wind and obtain proton distributions at heliocentric distances ranging from 4 to 30 solar radii. We find that the proton distribution develops non-Gaussian structure with a flat core and steep tail. For r\gt 5 {R}{{S}}, the proton distribution is well approximated by a modified Moyal distribution. Comparisons with future measurements from Solar Probe Plus could be used to test whether stochastic heating is occurring in the solar-wind acceleration region.

Date: 03/2016 Publisher: The Astrophysical Journal Pages: 47 DOI: 10.3847/0004-637X/820/1/47 Available at:
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Authors: Klein Kristopher G., Perez Jean C., Verscharen Daniel, Mallet Alfred, and Chandran Benjamin D. G.

The Solar Probe Plus (SPP) spacecraft will explore the near-Sun environment, reaching heliocentric distances less than 10 {{R}}. Near Earth, spacecraft measurements of fluctuating velocities and magnetic fields taken in the time domain are translated into information about the spatial structure of the solar wind via Taylor’s “frozen turbulence” hypothesis. Near the perihelion of SPP, however, the solar-wind speed is comparable to the Alfvén speed, and Taylor’s hypothesis in its usual form does not apply. In this paper, we show that under certain assumptions, a modified version of Taylor’s hypothesis can be recovered in the near-Sun region. We consider only the transverse, non-compressive component of the fluctuations at length scales exceeding the proton gyrora. . .
Date: 03/2015 Publisher: The Astrophysical Journal Pages: L18 DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/801/1/L18 Available at:
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Authors: Kasper Justin C., Abiad Robert, Austin Gerry, Balat-Pichelin Marianne, Bale Stuart D., et al.
Title: Solar Wind Electrons Alphas and Protons (SWEAP) Investigation: Design of the Solar Wind and Coronal Plasma Instrument Suite for Solar Probe Plus

The Solar Wind Electrons Alphas and Protons (SWEAP) Investigation on Solar Probe Plus is a four sensor instrument suite that provides complete measurements of the electrons and ionized helium and hydrogen that constitute the bulk of solar wind and coronal plasma. SWEAP consists of the Solar Probe Cup (SPC) and the Solar Probe Analyzers (SPAN). SPC is a Faraday Cup that looks directly at the Sun and measures ion and electron fluxes and flow angles as a function of energy. SPAN consists of an ion and electron electrostatic analyzer (ESA) on the ram side of SPP (SPAN-A) and an electron ESA on the anti-ram side (SPAN-B). The SPAN-A ion ESA has a time of flight section that enables it to sort particles by their mass/charge ratio, permitting differentiation of ion species. SPAN-A and -B are r. . .
Date: 10/2015 Publisher: Space Science Reviews DOI: 10.1007/s11214-015-0206-3 Available at:
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