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  1. The dissipative mechanism in weakly collisional plasma is a topic that pervades decades of studies without a consensus solution. We compare several energy dissipation estimates based on energy transfer processes in plasma turbulence and provide justification for the pressure–strain interaction as a direct estimate of the energy dissipation rate. The global and scale-by-scale energy balances are examined in 2.5D and 3D kinetic simulations. We show that the global internal energy increase and the temperature enhancement of each species are directly tracked by the pressure–strain interaction. The incompressive part of the pressure–strain interaction dominates over its compressive part in all simulations considered. The scale-by-scale energy balance is quantified by scale filtered Vlasov–Maxwell equations, a kinetic plasma approach, and the lag dependent von Kármán–Howarth equation, an approach based on fluid models. We find that the energy balance is exactly satisfied across all scales, but the lack of a well-defined inertial range influences the distribution of the energy budget among different terms in the inertial range. Therefore, the widespread use of the Yaglom relation in estimating the dissipation rate is questionable in some cases, especially when the scale separation in the system is not clearly defined. In contrast, the pressure– strain interaction balancesmore »exactly the dissipation rate at kinetic scales regardless of the scale separation« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 21, 2023
  2. ABSTRACT The physical foundations of the dissipation of energy and the associated heating in weakly collisional plasmas are poorly understood. Here, we compare and contrast several measures that have been used to characterize energy dissipation and kinetic-scale conversion in plasmas by means of a suite of kinetic numerical simulations describing both magnetic reconnection and decaying plasma turbulence. We adopt three different numerical codes that can also include interparticle collisions: the fully kinetic particle-in-cell vpic, the fully kinetic continuum Gkeyll, and the Eulerian Hybrid Vlasov–Maxwell (HVM) code. We differentiate between (i) four energy-based parameters, whose definition is related to energy transfer in a fluid description of a plasma, and (ii) four distribution function-based parameters, requiring knowledge of the particle velocity distribution function. There is an overall agreement between the dissipation measures obtained in the PIC and continuum reconnection simulations, with slight differences due to the presence/absence of secondary islands in the two simulations. There are also many qualitative similarities between the signatures in the reconnection simulations and the self-consistent current sheets that form in turbulence, although the latter exhibits significant variations compared to the reconnection results. All the parameters confirm that dissipation occurs close to regions of intense magnetic stresses, thusmore »exhibiting local correlation. The distribution function-based measures show a broader width compared to energy-based proxies, suggesting that energy transfer is co-localized at coherent structures, but can affect the particle distribution function in wider regions. The effect of interparticle collisions on these parameters is finally discussed.« less