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Title: Suppression of Electron Thermal Conduction by Whistler Turbulence in a Sustained Thermal Gradient

Abstract

The dynamics of weakly magnetized collisionless plasmas in the presence of an imposed temperature gradient along an ambient magnetic field is explored with particle-in-cell simulations and modeling. Two thermal reservoirs at different temperatures drive an electron heat flux that destabilizes off-angle whistler-type modes. The whistlers grow to large amplitude, δB/B0 ≃ 1, and resonantly scatter the electrons, significantly reducing the heat flux. Interestingly, the resulting steady-state heat flux is largely independent of the thermal gradient. The rate of thermal conduction is instead controlled by the finite propagation speed of the whistlers, which act as mobile scattering centers that convect the thermal energy of the hot reservoir. The findings are relevant to thermal transport in high-β astrophysical plasmas such as hot accretion flows and the intracluster medium of galaxy clusters.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [2];  [2]
  1. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States)
  2. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States); Joint Space-Science Inst. (JSI), College Park, MD (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1544335
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1417508
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 120; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; 70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY

Citation Formats

Roberg-Clark, G. T., Drake, J. F., Reynolds, C. S., and Swisdak, M. Suppression of Electron Thermal Conduction by Whistler Turbulence in a Sustained Thermal Gradient. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.035101.
Roberg-Clark, G. T., Drake, J. F., Reynolds, C. S., & Swisdak, M. Suppression of Electron Thermal Conduction by Whistler Turbulence in a Sustained Thermal Gradient. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.035101.
Roberg-Clark, G. T., Drake, J. F., Reynolds, C. S., and Swisdak, M. Fri . "Suppression of Electron Thermal Conduction by Whistler Turbulence in a Sustained Thermal Gradient". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.035101. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1544335.
@article{osti_1544335,
title = {Suppression of Electron Thermal Conduction by Whistler Turbulence in a Sustained Thermal Gradient},
author = {Roberg-Clark, G. T. and Drake, J. F. and Reynolds, C. S. and Swisdak, M.},
abstractNote = {The dynamics of weakly magnetized collisionless plasmas in the presence of an imposed temperature gradient along an ambient magnetic field is explored with particle-in-cell simulations and modeling. Two thermal reservoirs at different temperatures drive an electron heat flux that destabilizes off-angle whistler-type modes. The whistlers grow to large amplitude, δB/B0 ≃ 1, and resonantly scatter the electrons, significantly reducing the heat flux. Interestingly, the resulting steady-state heat flux is largely independent of the thermal gradient. The rate of thermal conduction is instead controlled by the finite propagation speed of the whistlers, which act as mobile scattering centers that convect the thermal energy of the hot reservoir. The findings are relevant to thermal transport in high-β astrophysical plasmas such as hot accretion flows and the intracluster medium of galaxy clusters.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.035101},
journal = {Physical Review Letters},
number = 3,
volume = 120,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {1}
}

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Cited by: 10 works
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