Spectral properties of electromagnetic turbulence in plasmas

D. Shaikh, P.K. Shukla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

We report on the nonlinear turbulent processes associated with electromagnetic waves in plasmas. We focus on low-frequency (in comparison with the electron gyrofrequency) nonlinearly interacting electron whistlers and nonlinearly interacting Hall-magnetohydrodynamic (H-MHD) fluctuations in a magnetized plasma. Nonlinear whistler mode turbulence study in a magnetized plasma involves incompressible electrons and immobile ions. Two-dimensional turbulent interactions and subsequent energy cascades are critically influenced by the electron whisters that behave distinctly for scales smaller and larger than the electron skin depth. It is found that in whistler mode turbulence there results a dual cascade primarily due to the forward spectral migration of energy that coexists with a backward spectral transfer of mean squared magnetic potential. Finally, inclusion of the ion dynamics, resulting from a two fluid description of the H-MHD plasma, leads to several interesting results that are typically observed in the solar wind plasma. Particularly in the solar wind, the high-time-resolution databases identify a spectral break at the end of the MHD inertial range spectrum that corresponds to a high-frequency regime. In the latter, turbulent cascades cannot be explained by the usual MHD model and a finite frequency effect (in comparison with the ion gyrofrequency) arising from the ion inertia is essentially included to discern the dynamics of the smaller length scales (in comparison with the ion skin depth). This leads to a nonlinear H-MHD model, which is presented in this paper. With the help of our 3-D H-MHD code, we find that the characteristic turbulent interactions in the high-frequency regime evolve typically on kinetic-Alfven time-scales. The turbulent fluctuation associated with kinetic-Alfven interactions are compressive and anisotropic and possess equipartition of the kinetic and magnetic energies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-196
Number of pages7
JournalNonlinear Processes in Geophysics
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2009

Keywords

  • magnetohydrodynamic turbulance
  • electron magnetohydrodynamics
  • magnetic reconnection
  • power spectra
  • dissipation
  • excitation
  • whistlers
  • waves

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Spectral properties of electromagnetic turbulence in plasmas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this