skip to main content


Title: Electron and ion heating by whistler turbulence: Three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations

Three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations of decaying whistler turbulence are carried out on a collisionless, homogeneous, magnetized, electron-ion plasma model. In addition, the simulations use an initial ensemble of relatively long wavelength whistler modes with a broad range of initial propagation directions with an initial electron beta β e = 0.05. The computations follow the temporal evolution of the fluctuations as they cascade into broadband turbulent spectra at shorter wavelengths. Three simulations correspond to successively larger simulation boxes and successively longer wavelengths of the initial fluctuations. The computations confirm previous results showing electron heating is preferentially parallel to the background magnetic field B o, and ion heating is preferentially perpendicular to B o. The new results here are that larger simulation boxes and longer initial whistler wavelengths yield weaker overall dissipation, consistent with linear dispersion theory predictions of decreased damping, stronger ion heating, consistent with a stronger ion Landau resonance, and weaker electron heating.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
  2. Space Science Institute, Boulder, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276; TRN: US1600632
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 41; Journal Issue: 24; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
American Geophysical Union
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; heliospheric and magnetospheric physics; whistler turbulence
OSTI Identifier: