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Title: FIRE HOSE INSTABILITY DRIVEN BY ALPHA PARTICLE TEMPERATURE ANISOTROPY

We investigate properties of a solar wind-like plasma, including a secondary alpha particle population exhibiting a parallel temperature anisotropy with respect to the background magnetic field, using linear and quasi-linear predictions and by means of one-dimensional hybrid simulations. We show that anisotropic alpha particles can drive a parallel fire hose instability analogous to that generated by protons, but that, remarkably, can also be triggered when the parallel plasma beta of alpha particles is below unity. The wave activity generated by the alpha anisotropy affects the evolution of the more abundant protons, leading to their anisotropic heating. When both ion species have sufficient parallel anisotropies, both of them can drive the instability, and we observe the generation of two distinct peaks in the spectra of the fluctuations, with longer wavelengths associated to alphas and shorter ones to protons. If a non-zero relative drift is present, the unstable modes propagate preferentially in the direction of the drift associated with the unstable species. The generated waves scatter particles and reduce their temperature anisotropy to a marginally stable state, and, moreover, they significantly reduce the relative drift between the two ion populations. The coexistence of modes excited by both species leads to saturation ofmore » the plasma in distinct regions of the beta/anisotropy parameter space for protons and alpha particles, in good agreement with in situ solar wind observations. Our results confirm that fire hose instabilities are likely at work in the solar wind and limit the anisotropy of different ion species in the plasma.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Department of Physics, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom)
  2. Astronomical Institute, CAS, Prague (Czech Republic)
  3. Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università di Firenze, Firenze (Italy)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22518858
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 812; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ALPHA PARTICLES; ANISOTROPY; BETA PARTICLES; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; FLUCTUATIONS; HOSE INSTABILITY; MAGNETIC FIELDS; PLASMA; SOLAR PROTONS; SOLAR WIND; SPACE; WAVELENGTHS