With first-principles kinetic simulations, we show that a large-scale Alfvén wave (AW) propagating in an inhomogeneous background decays into kinetic Alfvén waves (KAWs), triggering ion and electron energization. We demonstrate that the two species can access unequal amounts of the initial AW energy, experiencing differential heating. During the decay process, the electric field carried by KAWs produces non-Maxwellian features in the particle velocity distribution functions, in accordance with space observations. The process we present solely requires the interaction of a large-scale AW with a magnetic shear and may be relevant for several astrophysical and laboratory plasmas.

Kinetic Heating by Alfvén Waves in Magnetic Shears

Francesco Pucci;Francesco Malara;
2022-01-01

Abstract

With first-principles kinetic simulations, we show that a large-scale Alfvén wave (AW) propagating in an inhomogeneous background decays into kinetic Alfvén waves (KAWs), triggering ion and electron energization. We demonstrate that the two species can access unequal amounts of the initial AW energy, experiencing differential heating. During the decay process, the electric field carried by KAWs produces non-Maxwellian features in the particle velocity distribution functions, in accordance with space observations. The process we present solely requires the interaction of a large-scale AW with a magnetic shear and may be relevant for several astrophysical and laboratory plasmas.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/332564
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