Energy partitioning constraints at kinetic scales in low-β turbulence.

Academic Article


  • Turbulence is a fundamental physical process through which energy injected into a system at large scales cascades to smaller scales. In collisionless plasmas, turbulence provides a critical mechanism for dissipating electromagnetic energy. Here we present observations of plasma fluctuations in low-β turbulence using data from NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale mission in Earth's magnetosheath. We provide constraints on the partitioning of turbulent energy density in the fluid, ion-kinetic, and electron-kinetic ranges. Magnetic field fluctuations dominated the energy density spectrum throughout the fluid and ion-kinetic ranges, consistent with previous observations of turbulence in similar plasma regimes. However, at scales shorter than the electron inertial length, fluctuation power in electron kinetic energy significantly exceeded that of the magnetic field, resulting in an electron-motion-regulated cascade at small scales. This dominance should be highly relevant for the study of turbulence in highly magnetized laboratory and astrophysical plasmas.
  • Authors

  • Gershman, Daniel J
  • F-Viñas, Adolfo
  • Dorelli, John C
  • Goldstein, Melvyn L
  • Shuster, Jason
  • Avanov, Levon A
  • Boardsen, Scott A
  • Stawarz, Julia E
  • Schwartz, Steven J
  • Schiff, Conrad
  • Lavraud, Benoit
  • Saito, Yoshifumi
  • Paterson, William R
  • Giles, Barbara L
  • Pollock, Craig J
  • Strangeway, Robert J
  • Russell, Christopher T
  • Torbert, Roy
  • Moore, Thomas E
  • Burch, James L
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • 2018
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In

  • Physics of Plasmas  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 022303
  • End Page

  • 022303
  • Volume

  • 25
  • Issue

  • 2