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Title: A PARALLEL-PROPAGATING ALFVENIC ION-BEAM INSTABILITY IN THE HIGH-BETA SOLAR WIND

We investigate the conditions under which parallel-propagating Alfven/ion-cyclotron waves are driven unstable by an isotropic (T{sub {alpha}} = T{sub Parallel-To {alpha}}) population of alpha particles drifting parallel to the magnetic field at an average speed U{sub {alpha}} with respect to the protons. We derive an approximate analytic condition for the minimum value of U{sub {alpha}} needed to excite this instability and refine this result using numerical solutions to the hot-plasma dispersion relation. When the alpha-particle number density is {approx_equal} 5% of the proton number density and the two species have similar thermal speeds, the instability requires that {beta}{sub p} {approx}> 1, where {beta}{sub p} is the ratio of the proton pressure to the magnetic pressure. For 1 {approx}< {beta}{sub p} {approx}< 12, the minimum U{sub {alpha}} needed to excite this instability ranges from 0.7v{sub A} to 0.9v{sub A}, where v{sub A} is the Alfven speed. This threshold is smaller than the threshold of {approx_equal} 1.2v{sub A} for the parallel magnetosonic instability, which was previously thought to have the lowest threshold of the alpha-particle beam instabilities at {beta}{sub p} {approx}> 0.5. We discuss the role of the parallel Alfvenic drift instability for the evolution of the alpha-particle drift speed in themore » solar wind. We also analyze measurements from the Wind spacecraft's Faraday cups and show that the U{sub {alpha}} values measured in solar-wind streams with T{sub {alpha}} Almost-Equal-To T{sub Parallel-To {alpha}} are approximately bounded from above by the threshold of the parallel Alfvenic instability.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Space Science Center, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824 (United States)
  2. Space Science Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22140317
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 773; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; 79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ALFVEN WAVES; ALPHA PARTICLES; APPROXIMATIONS; BEAMS; DENSITY; DISPERSION RELATIONS; DRIFT INSTABILITY; EVOLUTION; FARADAY CUPS; HIGH-BETA PLASMA; HOT PLASMA; MAGNETIC FIELDS; NUMERICAL SOLUTION; PROTONS; SOLAR WIND; STREAMS; TURBULENCE; WAVE PROPAGATION