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

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

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. This suggests that electron Landau damping could play a significant role in turbulent plasma heating, and that the technique is a valuable tool for determining the particle energisation processes operating in space and astrophysical plasmas

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number740
JournalNature communications
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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