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Who Needs Turbulence?

A Review of Turbulence Effects in the Heliosphere and on the Fundamental Process of Reconnection


The significant influences of turbulence in neutral fluid hydrodynamics are well accepted but the potential for analogous effects in space and astrophysical plasmas is less widely recognized. This situation sometimes gives rise to the question posed in the title; “Who need turbulence?” After a brief overview of turbulence effects in hydrodynamics, some likely effects of turbulence in solar and heliospheric plasma physics are reviewed here, with the goal of providing at least a partial answer to the posed question.

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Correspondence to W. H. Matthaeus.

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We are indebted to S. Fuselier, J. Gosling, and S. Antiochos for posing the title question at the Yosemite meeting and elsewhere.

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Matthaeus, W.H., Velli, M. Who Needs Turbulence?. Space Sci Rev 160, 145 (2011).

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  • Magnetic reconnection
  • Turbulence
  • Solar wind
  • Corona