Wavevector anisotropy of plasma turbulence at ion kinetic scales: Solar wind observations and hybrid simulations

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Abstract

Wavevector anisotropy of ion-scale plasma turbulence is studied at various values of ion beta. Two complementary methods are used. One is multi-point measurements of magnetic field in the near-Earth solar wind as provided by the Cluster spacecraft mission, and the other is hybrid numerical simulation of two-dimensional plasma turbulence. Both methods demonstrate that the wavevector anisotropy is reduced with increasing values of ion beta. Furthermore, the numerical simulation study shows the existence of a scaling law between ion beta and the wavevector anisotropy of the fluctuating magnetic field that is controlled by the thermal or hybrid particle-in-cell simulation noise. Likewise, there is weak evidence that the power-law scaling can be extended to the turbulent fluctuating cascade. This fact can be used to construct a diagnostic tool to determine or to constrain ion beta using multi-point magnetic field measurements in space.

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Comiåyel, H., Narita, Y., & Motschmann, U. (2014). Wavevector anisotropy of plasma turbulence at ion kinetic scales: Solar wind observations and hybrid simulations. Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics, 21(6), 1075–1083. https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-21-1075-2014

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