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

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.
 [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:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; 79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; astrophysical plasmas; magnetospheric physics
OSTI Identifier: