, Volume 42, Issue 3-4, pp 399-410

Space plasma turbulent dissipation: Reality or myth?

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Abstract

A prevalent approach to understanding magnetospheric dynamics is to combine a hydromagnetic description of the large scale magnetic structure and convection flows with a locally determined anomalous dissipation which develops in boundary layers. Three problems — nose and tail reconnection, auroral field-aligned currents, and diffuse auroral precipitation — are critically examined to test the validity of this theoretical philosophy. Although the expected plasma wave turbulence is observed for each case, the concept of local anomalous dissipation fails to provide an adequate or complete description of the phemomenae.