Effects of heavy ion temperature on low-frequency kinetic Alfvén waves

Yang, L.; Wu, D. J.
October 2011
Physics of Plasmas;Oct2011, Vol. 18 Issue 10, p102101
Academic Journal
Heavy ion-electron (or proton) temperature ratio varies in a wide range in the solar and space environment. In this paper, proton and heavy ion temperatures are included in a three-fluid plasma model. For the specified parameters, low-frequency (< heavy ion gyrofrequency) kinetic Alfvén waves (KAWs) with sub- and super-Alfvénic speeds are found to coexist in the same plasma environment. Our results show that the temperature ratio of heavy ions to electrons can considerably affect the dispersion, propagation, and electromagnetic polarizations of the KAWs. In particular, the temperature ratio can increase the ratio of parallel to perpendicular electric fields and the normalized electric to magnetic field ratio, the variations of which are greatly different in regions with a high heavy ion temperature and with a low one. The results may help to understand the physical mechanism of some energization processes of heavy ions in the solar and space plasma environment. Effects of the ratio of electron thermal to Alfvén speeds and the heavy ion abundance on these parameters are also discussed.


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