Computer simulation of Alfvén wave heating

Geary, J. L.; Leboeuf, J.-N.; Tajima, T.
April 1990
Physics of Fluids B: Plasma Physics;Apr90, Vol. 2 Issue 4, p773
Academic Journal
A particle simulation study of shear Alfvén wave resonance heating is presented. A particle simulation model has been developed for this application that incorporates Darwin’s formulation of the electromagnetic fields with a guiding center approximation for electron motion perpendicular to the ambient magnetic field. With this model, several cases of Alfvén wave heating are examined in both uniform and nonuniform simulation systems in a two-dimensional slab. When the antenna parameters match the shear Alfvén resonance condition, the simulation plasmas in the homogeneous cases react strongly with the driven wave. For the inhomogeneous case studies, the kinetic Alfvén wave develops in the vicinity of the shear Alfvén resonance region. The electrons kinetically react with the wave through a collisionless process. The electron velocity distribution function flattens about the parallel phase velocity of the wave with accompanying changes in the spatial structure of the wave. The electron heating rate is in good agreement with the Landau damping model. A substantial electron current is also generated parallel to the applied magnetic field. The ions gain energy by oscillating in the wave electric fields.


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