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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2018-36
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Regular paper 04 May 2018

Regular paper | 04 May 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO).

Solar Wind and Kinetic Heliophysics

Eckart Marsch Eckart Marsch
  • Institute for Experimental and Applied Physics, Christian-Albrechts University at Kiel, Leibnizstraße 11, 24118 Kiel, Germany

Abstract. This lecture reviews recent aspects of solar wind physics and elucidates the role Alfvén waves play in solar wind acceleration and turbulence, which prevail in the low corona and inner heliosphere. Our understanding of the solar wind has made considerable progress based on remote sensing, in-situ measurements, kinetic simulation and fluid modeling. Further insights are expected from such missions as the Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter.

The sources of the solar wind have been identified in the chromospheric network, Transition region and corona of the sun. Alfvén waves excited by reconnection in the network contribute to the driving of turbulence and plasma flows in funnels and coronal holes. The dynamic solar magnetic field causes solar wind variations over the solar cycle. Fast and slow solar wind streams, as well as transient coronal mass ejections are generated by the sun’s magnetic activity.

Magnetohydrodynamic turbulence originates at the sun and evolves into interplanetary space. The major Alfvén waves and minor magnetosonic waves, with an admixture of pressurebalanced structures at various scales, constitute heliophysical turbulence. Its spectra evolve radially and develop anisotropies. Numerical simulations of turbulence spectra have reproduced key observational features. Collisionless dissipation of fluctuations remains a subject of intense research.

Detailed measurements of particle velocity distributions have revealed non-maxwellian electrons, strongly anisotropic protons and heavy ion beams. Besides macroscopic forces in the heliosphere local wave-particle interactions shape the distribution functions. They can be described by the Boltzmann–Vlasov equation including collisions and waves. Kinetic simulations permit us to better understand the combined evolution of particles and waves in the heliosphere.

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