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Title: Wave-particle energy exchange directly observed in a kinetic Alfvén-branch wave

Abstract

Alfvén waves are fundamental plasma wave modes that permeate the universe. At small kinetic scales, they provide a critical mechanism for the transfer of energy between electromagnetic fields and charged particles. These waves are important not only in planetary magnetospheres, heliospheres and astrophysical systems but also in laboratory plasma experiments and fusion reactors. Through measurement of charged particles and electromagnetic fields with NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission, we utilize Earth’s magnetosphere as a plasma physics laboratory. Here we confirm the conservative energy exchange between the electromagnetic field fluctuations and the charged particles that comprise an undamped kinetic Alfvén wave. Electrons confined between adjacent wave peaks may have contributed to saturation of damping effects via nonlinear particle trapping. As a result, the investigation of these detailed wave dynamics has been unexplored territory in experimental plasma physics and is only recently enabled by high-resolution MMS observations.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [7];  [8];  [8];  [9];  [2];  [10];  [11];  [12];  [12];  [2];  [2];  [13];  [10]
  1. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States)
  2. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD (United States)
  3. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD (United States); Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore County, MD (United States)
  4. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States); NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD (United States)
  5. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States)
  6. Imperial College, London (United Kingdom)
  7. Univ. de Toulouse, Toulouse (France); Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Toulouse (France)
  8. NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL (United States)
  9. JAXA Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Kanagawa (Japan)
  10. Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX (United States)
  11. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
  12. Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
  13. Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, NH (United States); Southwest Research Institute Durham, Durham, NH (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1361175
Grant/Contract Number:
FG02-04ER54755
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; 79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; astrophysical plasmas; magnetospheric physics

Citation Formats

Gershman, Daniel J., F-Viñas, Adolfo, Dorelli, John C., Boardsen, Scott A., Avanov, Levon A., Bellan, Paul M., Schwartz, Steven J., Lavraud, Benoit, Coffey, Victoria N., Chandler, Michael O., Saito, Yoshifumi, Paterson, William R., Fuselier, Stephen A., Ergun, Robert E., Strangeway, Robert J., Russell, Christopher T., Giles, Barbara L., Pollock, Craig J., Torbert, Roy B., and Burch, James L. Wave-particle energy exchange directly observed in a kinetic Alfvén-branch wave. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1038/ncomms14719.
Gershman, Daniel J., F-Viñas, Adolfo, Dorelli, John C., Boardsen, Scott A., Avanov, Levon A., Bellan, Paul M., Schwartz, Steven J., Lavraud, Benoit, Coffey, Victoria N., Chandler, Michael O., Saito, Yoshifumi, Paterson, William R., Fuselier, Stephen A., Ergun, Robert E., Strangeway, Robert J., Russell, Christopher T., Giles, Barbara L., Pollock, Craig J., Torbert, Roy B., & Burch, James L. Wave-particle energy exchange directly observed in a kinetic Alfvén-branch wave. United States. doi:10.1038/ncomms14719.
Gershman, Daniel J., F-Viñas, Adolfo, Dorelli, John C., Boardsen, Scott A., Avanov, Levon A., Bellan, Paul M., Schwartz, Steven J., Lavraud, Benoit, Coffey, Victoria N., Chandler, Michael O., Saito, Yoshifumi, Paterson, William R., Fuselier, Stephen A., Ergun, Robert E., Strangeway, Robert J., Russell, Christopher T., Giles, Barbara L., Pollock, Craig J., Torbert, Roy B., and Burch, James L. Fri . "Wave-particle energy exchange directly observed in a kinetic Alfvén-branch wave". United States. doi:10.1038/ncomms14719. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1361175.
@article{osti_1361175,
title = {Wave-particle energy exchange directly observed in a kinetic Alfvén-branch wave},
author = {Gershman, Daniel J. and F-Viñas, Adolfo and Dorelli, John C. and Boardsen, Scott A. and Avanov, Levon A. and Bellan, Paul M. and Schwartz, Steven J. and Lavraud, Benoit and Coffey, Victoria N. and Chandler, Michael O. and Saito, Yoshifumi and Paterson, William R. and Fuselier, Stephen A. and Ergun, Robert E. and Strangeway, Robert J. and Russell, Christopher T. and Giles, Barbara L. and Pollock, Craig J. and Torbert, Roy B. and Burch, James L.},
abstractNote = {Alfvén waves are fundamental plasma wave modes that permeate the universe. At small kinetic scales, they provide a critical mechanism for the transfer of energy between electromagnetic fields and charged particles. These waves are important not only in planetary magnetospheres, heliospheres and astrophysical systems but also in laboratory plasma experiments and fusion reactors. Through measurement of charged particles and electromagnetic fields with NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission, we utilize Earth’s magnetosphere as a plasma physics laboratory. Here we confirm the conservative energy exchange between the electromagnetic field fluctuations and the charged particles that comprise an undamped kinetic Alfvén wave. Electrons confined between adjacent wave peaks may have contributed to saturation of damping effects via nonlinear particle trapping. As a result, the investigation of these detailed wave dynamics has been unexplored territory in experimental plasma physics and is only recently enabled by high-resolution MMS observations.},
doi = {10.1038/ncomms14719},
journal = {Nature Communications},
number = ,
volume = 8,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Mar 31 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Fri Mar 31 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

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Cited by: 2works
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  • Here, neutral-beam ions that are deflected onto loss orbits by Alfvén eigenmodes (AE) on their first bounce orbit and are detected by a fast-ion loss detector (FILD) satisfy the “local resonance” condition. This theory qualitatively explains FILD observations for a wide variety of AE-particle interactions. When coherent losses are measured for multiple AE, oscillations at the sum and difference frequencies of the independent modes are often observed. The amplitudes of the sum and difference peaks correlate with the amplitudes of the fundamental loss-signal amplitudes but do not correlate with the measured mode amplitudes. In contrast to a simple uniform-plasma theorymore » of the interaction, the loss-signal amplitude at the sum frequency is often larger than the loss-signal amplitude at the difference frequency, indicating a more detailed computation of the orbital trajectories through the mode eigenfunctions is needed.« less
  • This paper presents the nonlinear interaction between small but finite amplitude kinetic Alfvén wave (KAW) and proton whistler wave using two-fluid model in intermediate beta plasma, applicable to solar wind. The nonlinearity is introduced by modification in the background density. This change in density is attributed to the nonlinear ponderomotive force due to KAW. The solutions of the model equations, governing the nonlinear interaction (and its effect on the formation of localized structures), have been obtained using semi-analytical method in solar wind at 1AU. It is concluded that the KAW properties significantly affect the threshold field required for the filamentmore » formation and their critical size (for proton whistler). The magnetic and electric field power spectra have been obtained and their relevance with the recent observations of solar wind turbulence by Cluster spacecraft has been pointed out.« less
  • This work presents non-linear interaction of magnetosonic wave with kinetic Alfvén wave for intermediate β-plasma (m{sub e}/m{sub i}≪β≪1). A set of dimensionless equations have been developed for analysis by considering ponderomotive force due to pump kinetic Alfvén wave in the dynamics of magnetosonic wave. Stability analysis has been done to study modulational instability or linear growth rate. Further, numerical simulation has been carried out to study the nonlinear stage of instability and resulting power spectrum applicable to solar wind around 1 AU. Due to the nonlinearity, background density of magnetosonic wave gets modified which results in localization of kinetic Alfvénmore » wave. From the obtained results, we observed that spectral index follows k{sup −3.0}, consistent with observation received by Cluster spacecraft for the solar wind around 1 AU. The result shows the steepening of power spectrum which may be responsible for heating and acceleration of plasma particles in solar wind.« less
  • By using the gyrokinetic theory, the kinetic Alfvén waves (KAWs) are discussed to emphasize the drift effects through the density inhomogeneity and the temperature anisotropy on their dispersion characteristics. The dependence of stabilization mechanism of the drift-Alfvén wave instability on the temperature anisotropy is highlighted. The estimate of the growth rate and the threshold condition for a wide range of parameters are also discussed.