EVOLUTION of the PROTON VELOCITY DISTRIBUTION DUE to STOCHASTIC HEATING in the NEAR-SUN SOLAR WIND

Kristopher G. Klein, Benjamin D.G. Chandran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigate how the proton distribution function evolves when the protons undergo stochastic heating by strong, low-frequency, Alfvén-wave turbulence under the assumption that β is small. We apply our analysis to protons undergoing stochastic heating in the supersonic fast solar wind and obtain proton distributions at heliocentric distances ranging from 4 to 30 solar radii. We find that the proton distribution develops non-Gaussian structure with a flat core and steep tail. For r> RS, the proton distribution is well approximated by a modified Moyal distribution. Comparisons with future measurements from Solar Probe Plus could be used to test whether stochastic heating is occurring in the solar-wind acceleration region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number47
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume820
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 20 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • plasmas
  • solar wind
  • turbulence
  • waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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