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Motivated by recent Parker Solar Probe (PSP) observations of switchbacks (abrupt, large-amplitude reversals in the radial magnetic field, which exhibit Alfv\ enic correlations), we examine the dynamics of large-amplitude Alfv\ en waves in the expanding solar wind. We develop an analytic model that makes several predictions: switchbacks should preferentially occur in regions where the solar wind plasma has undergone a greater expansion, the switchback fraction at radii comparable to PSP should be an increasing function of ...
Published by: \apj Published on: sep
YEAR: 2021   DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/ac0c12
The zeroth law of turbulence states that, for fixed energy input into large-scale motions, the statistical steady state of a turbulent system is independent of microphysical dissipation properties. This behaviour, which is fundamental to nearly all fluid-like systems from industrial processes to galaxies, occurs because nonlinear processes generate smaller and smaller scales in the flow, until the dissipation - no matter how small - can thermalise the energy input. Using direct numerical simulations and theoretical arguments ...
Published by: Journal of Plasma Physics Published on: 05/2021
YEAR: 2021   DOI: 10.1017/S0022377821000489
space plasma physics; astrophysical plasmas; plasma nonlinear phenomena; Physics - Space Physics; Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics; Nonlinear Sciences - Chaotic Dynamics; Physics - Plasma Physics; Parker Data Used
Recent near-Sun solar-wind observations from Parker Solar Probe have found a highly dynamic magnetic environment, permeated by abrupt radial-field reversals, or "switchbacks." We show that many features of the observed turbulence are reproduced by a spectrum of Alfv\ enic fluctuations advected by a radially expanding flow. Starting from simple superpositions of low-amplitude outward-propagating waves, our expanding-box compressible magnetohydrodynamic simulations naturally develop switchbacks because (i) the normalized am ...
Published by: The Astrophysical Journal Published on: 03/2020
YEAR: 2020   DOI: 10.3847/2041-8213/ab74e1