Scale dependent alignment between velocity and magnetic field fluctuations in the solar wind and comparisons to Boldyrev's phenomenological theory

J. J. Podesta, A. Bhattacharjee, B. D.G. Chandran, M. L. Goldstein, D. A. Roberts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

A theory of incompressible MHD turbulence recently developed by Boldyrev predicts the existence of a scale dependent angle of alignment between velocity and magnetic field fluctuations that is proportional to the lengthscale of the fluctuations to the power 1/4. In this study, plasma and magnetic field data from the Wind spacecraft are used to investigate the angle between velocity and magnetic field fluctuations in the solar wind as a function of the timescale of the fluctuations and to look for the power law scaling predicted by Boldyrev. Because errors in the velocity vector can create large errors in the angle measurements, particularly at small scales, the angle measurements are suspected to be unreliable except at the largest inertial range scales. For the data at large scales the observed power law exponents range from 0.25 to 0.34, which are somewhat larger than Boldyrev's prediction of 0.25. The results suggest that the angle may scale like a power law in the solar wind, at least at the largest inertial range scales, but the observed power law exponents appear to differ from Boldyrev's theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationParticle Acceleration and Transport in the Heliosphere and Beyond - 7th Annual International Astrophysics Conference
Pages81-86
Number of pages6
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 29 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event7th Annual International Astrophysics Conference on Particle Acceleration and Transport in the Heliosphere and Beyond - Kauai, HI, United States
Duration: Mar 7 2008Mar 13 2008

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
Volume1039
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616

Other

Other7th Annual International Astrophysics Conference on Particle Acceleration and Transport in the Heliosphere and Beyond
CountryUnited States
CityKauai, HI
Period3/7/083/13/08

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Keywords

  • Magnetohydrodynamics
  • Plasma turbulence
  • Solar wind

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    Podesta, J. J., Bhattacharjee, A., Chandran, B. D. G., Goldstein, M. L., & Roberts, D. A. (2008). Scale dependent alignment between velocity and magnetic field fluctuations in the solar wind and comparisons to Boldyrev's phenomenological theory. In Particle Acceleration and Transport in the Heliosphere and Beyond - 7th Annual International Astrophysics Conference (pp. 81-86). (AIP Conference Proceedings; Vol. 1039). https://doi.org/10.1063/1.2982489