Ion versus Electron Heating in Compressively Driven Astrophysical Gyrokinetic Turbulence

Y. Kawazura, A. A. Schekochihin, M. Barnes, J. M. Tenbarge, Y. Tong, K. G. Klein, W. Dorland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The partition of irreversible heating between ions and electrons in compressively driven (but subsonic) collisionless turbulence is investigated by means of nonlinear hybrid gyrokinetic simulations. We derive a prescription for the ion-To-electron heating ratio Qi/Qe as a function of the compressive-To-Alfvénic driving power ratio Pcompr/PAW, of the ratio of ion thermal pressure to magnetic pressure βi, and of the ratio of ion-To-electron background temperatures Ti/Te. It is shown that Qi/Qe is an increasing function of Pcompr/PAW. When the compressive driving is sufficiently large, Qi/Qe approaches ≃Pcompr/PAW. This indicates that, in turbulence with large compressive fluctuations, the partition of heating is decided at the injection scales, rather than at kinetic scales. Analysis of phase-space spectra shows that the energy transfer from inertial-range compressive fluctuations to sub-Larmor-scale kinetic Alfvén waves is absent for both low and high βi, meaning that the compressive driving is directly connected to the ion-entropy fluctuations, which are converted into ion thermal energy. This result suggests that preferential electron heating is a very special case requiring low βi and no, or weak, compressive driving. Our heating prescription has wide-ranging applications, including to the solar wind and to hot accretion disks such as M87 and Sgr A∗.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041050
JournalPhysical Review X
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 11 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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