Large-scale Control of Kinetic Dissipation in the Solar Wind

Daniel Vech, Kristopher G. Klein, Justin C. Kasper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In this Letter, we study the connection between the large-scale dynamics of the turbulence cascade and particle heating on kinetic scales. We find that the inertial range turbulence amplitude (δBi; measured in the range of 0.01-0.1 Hz) is a simple and effective proxy to identify the onset of significant ion heating, and when it is combined with β∥ p , it characterizes the energy partitioning between protons and electrons (Tp/Te); proton temperature anisotropy (TT); and scalar proton temperature (Tp) in a way that is consistent with previous predictions. For a fixed δBi, the ratio of linear to nonlinear timescales is strongly correlated with the scalar proton temperature in agreement with Matthaeus et al., though for solar wind intervals with β⊥ p > 1 , some discrepancies are found. For a fixed β⊥ p, an increase of the turbulence amplitude leads to higher Tp/Te ratios, which is consistent with the models of Chandran et al. and Wu et al. We discuss the implications of these findings for our understanding of plasma turbulence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL4
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 10 2018


  • magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
  • plasmas
  • solar wind
  • turbulence
  • waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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