The dissipation of magnetized turbulence is an important paradigm for describing heating and energy transfer in astrophysical environments such as the solar corona and wind; however, the specific collisionless processes behind dissipation and heating remain relatively unconstrained by measurements. Remote sensing observations have suggested the presence of strong temperature anisotropy in the solar corona consistent with cyclotron resonant heating. In the solar wind, in situ magnetic field measurements reveal the presence of cyclotron waves, while measured ion velocity distribution functions have hinted at the active presence of cyclotron resonance. Here, we present Parker Solar Probe observations that connect the presence of ion-cyclotron waves directly to signatures of resonant damping in observed proton-velocity distributions using the framework of quasilinear theory. We show that the quasilinear evolution of the observed distribution functions should absorb the observed cyclotron wave population with a heating rate of 10-14 W/m3, indicating significant heating of the solar wind.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)