Diagnosing collisionless energy transfer using field-particle correlations: Alfvén-ion cyclotron turbulence

Kristopher G. Klein, Gregory G. Howes, Jason M. Tenbarge, Francesco Valentini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


We apply field-particle correlations- A technique that tracks the time-averaged velocity-space structure of the energy density transfer rate between electromagnetic fields and plasma particles-to data drawn from a hybrid Vlasov-Maxwell simulation of Alfvén-ion cyclotron turbulence. Energy transfer in this system is expected to include both Landau and cyclotron wave-particle resonances, unlike previous systems to which the field-particle correlation technique has been applied. In this simulation, the energy transfer rate mediated by the parallel electric field comprises approximately 60 % of the total rate, with the remainder mediated by the perpendicular electric field. The parallel electric field resonantly couples to protons, with the canonical bipolar velocity-space signature of Landau damping identified at many points throughout the simulation. The energy transfer mediated by preferentially couples to particles with, where is the proton thermal speed, in agreement with the expected formation of a cyclotron diffusion plateau. Our results demonstrate clearly that the field-particle correlation technique can distinguish distinct channels of energy transfer using single-point measurements, even at points in which multiple channels act simultaneously, and can be used to determine quantitatively the rates of particle energization in each channel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number905860402
JournalJournal of Plasma Physics
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics


  • plasma nonlinear phenomena
  • plasma simulation
  • space plasma physics


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