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On the balance of stresses in the plasma sheet.The stress resulting from magnetic tension on the neutral sheet must, in a steady state, be balanced by any one or a combination of (1) a pressure gradient in the direction along the axis of the tail, (2) a similar gradient of plasma flow kinetic energy, and (3) the tension resulting from a pressure anisotropy within the plasma sheet. Stress balance in the first two cases requires that the ratios h/LX and BZ/BX be of the same order of magnitude, where h is the half-thickness of the neutral sheet, LX is the length scale for variations along the axis of the tail, and BZ and BX are the magnetic field components in the plasma sheet just outside the neutral sheet. The second case requires, in addition, that the plasma flow speed within the neutral sheet be of the order of or larger than the Alfven speed outside the neutral sheet. Stress balance in the third case requires that just outside the neutral sheet the plasma pressure obey the marginal firehose stability condition.
Document ID
19720058742
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Authors
Rich, F. J.
Wolf, R. A. (Rice University Houston, Tex., United States)
Vasyliunas, V. M. (MIT Cambridge, Mass., United States)
Date Acquired
August 6, 2013
Publication Date
September 1, 1972
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume: 77
Subject Category
PHYSICS, PLASMA
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NSF GP-31378
CONTRACT_GRANT: NGL-22-009-015
CONTRACT_GRANT: F19628-70-C-0184
CONTRACT_GRANT: NSF GA-27206
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other