Charged Particle Transport in a Collisionless Magnetized Plasma

  • Gary P. Zank
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 877)


The solar wind, undoubtedly like many other astrophysical plasmas, is essentially collisionless and the description of a plasma based on particle collisions as described in Chap. 3 is inappropriate. Instead, interplanetary plasmas and astrophysical plasmas typically possess numerous waves and fluctuations that include a fluctuating magnetic field. Many studies, beginning with the landmark observational studies of Belcher and Davis (1971) and Coleman (1968) revealed the presence of both Alfvén waves and extended power-law spectra for the energy density of solar wind magnetic fluctuations. These low frequency magnetic field fluctuations can be interpreted in terms of an MHD turbulence description. The turbulence description of fluctuations in the solar wind has become increasingly refined, and today, solar wind turbulence is thought to comprise a superposition of propagating Alfvénic fluctuations (the minority component, sometimes called the slab component) and a dominant 2D component that is non-propagating. The two-dimensional component has velocity and magnetic field components and wave numbers nearly perpendicular to the background magnetic field with “zero frequency.


Solar Wind Energetic Particle Correlation Tensor Magnetic Turbulence Diffusive Shock Acceleration 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary P. Zank
    • 1
  1. 1.CSPARUniversity of Alabama in HuntsvilleHuntsvilleUSA

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