Charged-particle motion in multidimensional magnetic-field turbulence

J. Giacalone, J. R. Jokipii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


We present a new analysis of the fundamental physics of charged-particle motion in a turbulent magnetic field using a numerical simulation. The magnetic field fluctuations are taken to be static and to have a power spectrum which is Kolmogorov. The charged particles are treated as test particles. It is shown that when the field turbulence is independent of one coordinate (i.e., k lies in a plane), the motion of these particles across the magnetic field is essentially zero, as required by theory. Consequently, the only motion across the average magnetic field direction that is allowed is that due to field-line random walk. On the other hand, when a fully three-dimensional realization of the turbulence is considered, the particles readily cross the field. Transport coefficients both along and across the ambient magnetic field are computed. This scheme provides a direct computation of the Fokker-Planck coefficients based on the motions of individual particles, and allows for comparison with analytic theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L137-L140
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART 2
StatePublished - Aug 1 1994


  • Cosmic rays
  • Diffusion
  • Magnetic fields
  • Turbulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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