Statistics of Kinetic Dissipation in the Earth's Magnetosheath: MMS Observations.

Academic Article


  • A familiar problem in space and astrophysical plasmas is to understand how dissipation and heating occurs. These effects are often attributed to the cascade of broadband turbulence which transports energy from large scale reservoirs to small scale kinetic degrees of freedom. When collisions are infrequent, local thermodynamic equilibrium is not established. In this case the final stage of energy conversion becomes more complex than in the fluid case, and both pressure-dilatation and pressure strain interactions (Pi-D≡-Π_{ij}D_{ij}) become relevant and potentially important. Pi-D in plasma turbulence has been studied so far primarily using simulations. The present study provides a statistical analysis of Pi-D in the Earth's magnetosheath using the unique measurement capabilities of the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission. We find that the statistics of Pi-D in this naturally occurring plasma environment exhibit strong resemblance to previously established fully kinetic simulations results. The conversion of energy is concentrated in space and occurs near intense current sheets, but not within them. This supports recent suggestions that the chain of energy transfer channels involves regional, rather than pointwise, correlations.
  • Authors

  • Bandyopadhyay, Riddhi
  • Matthaeus, William H
  • Parashar, Tulasi N
  • Yang, Yan
  • Chasapis, Alexandros
  • Giles, Barbara L
  • Gershman, Daniel J
  • Pollock, Craig J
  • Russell, Christopher T
  • Strangeway, Robert J
  • Torbert, Roy
  • Moore, Thomas E
  • Burch, James L
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • June 26, 2020
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In


  • astro-ph.EP
  • astro-ph.SR
  • physics.plasm-ph
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 32639771
  • Start Page

  • 255101
  • Volume

  • 124
  • Issue

  • 25