The role of nonlinear Landau damping and the bounced motion of protons in the formation of dissipative structures in the solar wind plasma
- 1Department of Physics and Astronomy, SUNY at Stony Brook, NY 11794-3800, USA
- 2Department of Physics, University of California, San Diago, La Jolla, CA 92093-0319, USA
Abstract. The present work examines the effects arising from the nonlinear Landau damping and the bounced motion of protons (trapped in the mirror geometry of the geomagnetic field) in the formation of nonlinear Alfvénic structures. These structures are observed at distances 1-5AU in the solar wind plasma (with ß ~ 1). The dynamics of formation of these structures can be understood using kinetic nonlinear Schrodinger (KNLS) model. The structures emerge due to balance of nonlinear steepening (of large amplitude Alfvén waves) by the linear Landau damping of ion-acoustic modes in a finite ß solar wind plasma. The ion-acoustic mode is driven nonlinearly by the large amplitude Alfvén waves. At the large amplitudes of Alfvén wave, the effects due to nonlinear Landau damping become important. These nonlinear effects are incorporated into the KNLS model by modifying the heat flux dissipation coefficient parallel to the ambient magnetic field. The effects arising from the bounced motion (of mirroring protons) are studied using a one-dimensional Vlasov equation. The bounced motion of the protons can lead to growth of the ion-acoustic mode, propagating in the mirror geometry of the geomagnetic field. The significance of these studies in the formation of dissipative quasistationary structures observed in solar wind plasma is discussed.