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A Review of Alfv\ enic Turbulence in High-Speed Solar Wind Streams: Hints From Cometary Plasma Turbulence

AuthorTsurutani, Bruce; Lakhina, Gurbax; Sen, Abhijit; Hellinger, Petr; Glassmeier, Karl-Heinz; Mannucci, Anthony;
KeywordsAlfv\ en waves; discontinuities; interplanetary turbulence; magnetic decreases; parker solar probe; period doubling; Solar Probe Plus; wave phase-steepening

Solar wind turbulence within high-speed streams is reviewed from the point of view of embedded single nonlinear Alfv\ en wave cycles, discontinuities, magnetic decreases (MDs), and shocks. For comparison and guidance, cometary plasma turbulence is also briefly reviewed. It is demonstrated that cometary nonlinear magnetosonic waves phase-steepen, with a right-hand circular polarized foreshortened front and an elongated, compressive trailing edge. The former part is a form of "wave breaking" and the latter that of "period doubling." Interplanetary nonlinear Alfv\ en waves, which are arc polarized, have a 180\textdegree foreshortened front and with an elongated trailing edge. Alfv\ en waves have polarizations different from those of cometary magnetosonic waves, indicating that helicity is a durable feature of plasma turbulence. Interplanetary Alfv\ en waves are noted to be spherical waves, suggesting the possibility of additional local generation. They kinetically dissipate, forming MDs, indicating that the solar wind is partially "compressive" and static. The 2 MeV protons can nonresonantly interact with MDs leading to rapid cross-field ( 5.5\% Bohm) diffusion. The possibility of local ( 1 AU) generation of Alfv\ en waves may make it difficult to forecast High-Intensity, Long-Duration AE Activity and relativistic magnetospheric electrons with great accuracy. The future Solar Orbiter and Solar Probe Plus missions should be able to not only test these ideas but to also extend our knowledge of plasma turbulence evolution

Year of Publication2018
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Number of Pages2458-2492
Date Published01/2018