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Title: Three-dimensional Hybrid Simulation Results of a Variable Magnetic Helicity Signature at Proton Kinetic Scales
Abstract Three-dimensional hybrid kinetic simulations are conducted with particle protons and warm fluid electrons. Alfvénic fluctuations initialized at large scales and with wavevectors that are highly oblique with respect to the background magnetic field evolve into a turbulent energy cascade that dissipates at proton kinetic scales. Accompanying the proton scales is a spectral magnetic helicity signature with a peak in magnitude. A series of simulation runs are made with different large-scale cross helicity and different initial fluctuation phases and wavevector configurations. From the simulations a so-called total magnetic helicity peak is evaluated by summing contributions at a wavenumber perpendicular to the background magnetic field. The total is then compared with the reduced magnetic helicity calculated along spacecraft-like trajectories through the simulation box. The reduced combines the helicity from different perpendicular wavenumbers and depends on the sampling direction. The total is then the better physical quantity to characterize the turbulence. On average the ratio of reduced to total is 0.45. The total magnetic helicity and the reduced magnetic helicity show intrinsic variability based on initial fluctuation conditions. This variability can contribute to the scatter found in the observed distribution of solar wind reduced magnetic helicity as a function of cross helicity.
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The Astrophysical Journal
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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