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Energization of Plasma Species by Intermittent Kinetic Alfvén Waves

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Abstract

We propose a new phase-mixing sweep model of coronal heating and solar wind acceleration based on dissipative properties of kinetic Alfvén waves (KAWs). The energy reservoir is provided by the intermittent ∼1 Hz MHD Alfvén waves excited at the coronal base by magnetic restructuring. These waves propagate upward along open magnetic field lines, phase-mix, and gradually develop short wavelengths across the magnetic field. Eventually, at 1.5–4 solar radii they are transformed into KAWs. We analyze several basic mechanisms for anisotropic energization of plasma species by KAWs and find them compatible with observations. In particular, UVCS (onboard SOHO) observations of intense cross-field ion energization at 1.5–4 solar radii can be naturally explained by non-adiabatic ion acceleration in the vicinity of demagnetizing KAW phases. The ion cyclotron motion is destroyed there by electric and magnetic fields of KAWs.

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Correspondence to Yuriy Voitenko.

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Voitenko, Y., Goossens, M. Energization of Plasma Species by Intermittent Kinetic Alfvén Waves. Space Sci Rev 122, 255–270 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11214-006-8212-0

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Keywords

  • kinetic Alfvén waves
  • wave–particle interaction
  • coronal heating