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Record 1 of 2106
Mirror Instability in the Solar Wind: The Theory Revisited
Author and Affiliation:
Barnes, A.(NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA United States)
Abstract: "Magnetic holes", localized depressions in the interplanetary magnetic field, have been identified in Ulysses data over a range of several AU and as far as 23 degrees south in latitude by Winterhalter et al., who concluded that these structures are most likely the remnants of structures caused by occasional mirror-mode instability in the solar wind. However, these authors, like a number of previous investigators, used the mirror stability criterion derived from the kinetic theory under very special assumptions. On the other hand, theoretical investigations using the fully self-consistent kinetic theory (Vlasov-Maxwell equations) have shown that the mirror stability criterion is more complicated when electrons and ions have different anisotropies, as is normally the case in the solar wind. Winterhalter et al used an instability criterion of the form R is greater than 1, where R is a function of the thermal anisotropy; the correct criterion (for bi-Maxwellian distributions) is R R is greater than 1 - x(exp 2), where x is a real quantity that depends on both the proton anisotropy and electron anisotropy. So nonzero x would modify the Winterhalter et al results in the direction of reinforcing their conclusions. We have revisited the instability criterion in its most general form, allowing for (a) non-Maxwellian velocity distributions, (b) multiple ion species, and (c) interparticle streaming. These results should give sound theoretical grounding for future observational studies related to the mirror instability, by Ulysses and other spacecraft.
Publication Date: Jan 01, 1995
Document ID:
(Acquired Apr 05, 2002)
Subject Category: SOLAR PHYSICS
Document Type: Preprint
Meeting Information: AGU Fall Meeting; 11-15 Dec. 1995; San Francisco, CA; United States
Meeting Sponsor: American Geophysical Union; United States
Financial Sponsor: NASA Ames Research Center; Moffett Field, CA United States
Organization Source: NASA Ames Research Center; Moffett Field, CA United States
Description: 1p; In English
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: No Copyright
Availability Source: Other Sources
Availability Notes: Abstract Only
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