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Title: LIMITS ON ALPHA PARTICLE TEMPERATURE ANISOTROPY AND DIFFERENTIAL FLOW FROM KINETIC INSTABILITIES: SOLAR WIND OBSERVATIONS

Previous studies have shown that the observed temperature anisotropies of protons and alpha particles in the solar wind are constrained by theoretical thresholds for pressure and anisotropy driven instabilities such as the Alfvén/ion-cyclotron (A/IC) and fast-magnetosonic/whistler (FM/W) instabilities. In this Letter, we use a long period of in situ measurements provided by the Wind spacecraft's Faraday cups to investigate the combined constraint on the alpha proton differential flow velocity and the alpha particle temperature anisotropy due to A/IC and FM/W instabilities. We show that the majority of the data are constrained to lie within the region of parameter space in which A/IC and FM/W waves are either stable or have extremely low growth rates. In the minority of observed cases in which the growth rate of the A/IC (FM/W) instability is comparatively large, we find relatively higher values of T {sub α}/T {sub p} (T {sub ∥α}/T {sub ∥p}) when the alpha proton differential flow velocity is small, where T {sub α} and T {sub p} (T {sub ∥α} and T {sub ∥p}) are the perpendicular (parallel) temperatures of alpha particles and protons. We conjecture that this observed feature might arise from preferential alpha particle heating which can drive themore » alpha particles beyond the instability thresholds.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  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)
  3. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22224065
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 777; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; 79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ALPHA PARTICLES; ANISOTROPY; CYCLOTRONS; FARADAY CUPS; INSTABILITY; PROTONS; SOLAR WIND; SPACE; WHISTLERS