Gyrokinetic simulations of solar wind turbulence from ion to electron scales

G. G. Howes, J. M. Tenbarge, W. Dorland, E. Quataert, A. A. Schekochihin, R. Numata, T. Tatsuno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

214 Scopus citations


A three-dimensional, nonlinear gyrokinetic simulation of plasma turbulence resolving scales from the ion to electron gyroradius with a realistic mass ratio is presented, where all damping is provided by resolved physical mechanisms. The resulting energy spectra are quantitatively consistent with a magnetic power spectrum scaling of k⊃-2.8 as observed in insitu spacecraft measurements of the "dissipation range" of solar wind turbulence. Despite the strongly nonlinear nature of the turbulence, the linear kinetic Alfvén wave mode quantitatively describes the polarization of the turbulent fluctuations. The collisional ion heating is measured at subion-Larmor radius scales, which provides evidence of the ion entropy cascade in an electromagnetic turbulence simulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number035004
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 14 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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