Evidence for electron Landau damping in space plasma turbulence

C. H.K. Chen, K. G. Klein, G. G. Howes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


How turbulent energy is dissipated in weakly collisional space and astrophysical plasmas is a major open question. Here, we present the application of a field-particle correlation technique to directly measure the transfer of energy between the turbulent electromagnetic field and electrons in the Earth’s magnetosheath, the region of solar wind downstream of the Earth’s bow shock. The measurement of the secular energy transfer from the parallel electric field as a function of electron velocity shows a signature consistent with Landau damping. This signature is coherent over time, close to the predicted resonant velocity, similar to that seen in kinetic Alfven turbulence simulations, and disappears under phase randomisation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number740
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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