Ion pseudoheating by low-frequency Alfvén waves revisited

Dong, Chuanfei; Singh, Nagendra
January 2013
Physics of Plasmas;Jan2013, Vol. 20 Issue 1, p012121
Academic Journal
Pseudoheating of ions in the presence of Alfvén waves is studied. We show that this process can be explained by E × B drift, indicating that the pseudoheating is a consequence of equilibrium MHD system. The analytic solution obtained in this paper is quantitatively in accordance with previous results. Our simulation results show that the Maxwellian distribution is broadened during the pseudoheating; however, the shape of the broadening distribution function depends on the number of wave modes (i.e., a wave spectrum or a monochromatic dispersionless wave) and the initial thermal speed of ions (vp). It is of particular interests to find that the Maxwellian shape is more likely to maintain during the pseudoheating under a wave spectrum compared with a monochromatic wave. It significantly improves our understanding of heating processes in interplanetary space where Alfvénic turbulences exist pervasively. Compared with a monochromatic Alfvén wave, E × B drift produces more energetic particles in a broad spectrum of Alfvén waves, especially when the Alfvénic turbulence with phase coherent wave modes is given. Such particles may escape from the region of interaction with the Alfvén waves and can contribute to fast particle population in astrophysical and space plasmas.


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