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Title: Alfvén wave collisions, the fundamental building block of plasma turbulence. IV. Laboratory experiment

Turbulence is a phenomenon found throughout space and astrophysical plasmas. It plays an important role in solar coronal heating, acceleration of the solar wind, and heating of the interstellar medium. Turbulence in these regimes is dominated by Alfvén waves. Most turbulence theories have been established using ideal plasma models, such as incompressible MHD. However, there has been no experimental evidence to support the use of such models for weakly to moderately collisional plasmas which are relevant to various space and astrophysical plasma environments. We present the first experiment to measure the nonlinear interaction between two counterpropagating Alfvén waves, which is the building block for astrophysical turbulence theories. We present here four distinct tests that demonstrate conclusively that we have indeed measured the daughter Alfvén wave generated nonlinearly by a collision between counterpropagating Alfvén waves.
Authors:
 [1] ; ; ; ;  [2] ; ;  [3]
  1. Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia 31698 (United States)
  2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242 (United States)
  3. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22227962
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 20; Journal Issue: 7; Other Information: (c) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ACCELERATION; ALFVEN WAVES; ASTROPHYSICS; COLLISIONAL PLASMA; MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMICS; NONLINEAR PROBLEMS; PLASMA WAVES; SOLAR WIND; TURBULENCE; WAVE PROPAGATION