skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Schekochihin, A. A."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. We propose that pressure anisotropy causes weakly collisional turbulent plasmas to self-organize so as to resist changes in magnetic-field strength. We term this effect ‘magneto-immutability’ by analogy with incompressibility (resistance to changes in pressure). The effect is important when the pressure anisotropy becomes comparable to the magnetic pressure, suggesting that in collisionless, weakly magnetized (high- $\unicode[STIX]{x1D6FD}$ ) plasmas its dynamical relevance is similar to that of incompressibility. Simulations of magnetized turbulence using the weakly collisional Braginskii model show that magneto-immutable turbulence is surprisingly similar, in most statistical measures, to critically balanced magnetohydrodynamic turbulence. However, in order to minimize magnetic-field variation,more »the flow direction becomes more constrained than in magnetohydrodynamics, and the turbulence is more strongly dominated by magnetic energy (a non-zero ‘residual energy’). These effects represent key differences between pressure-anisotropic and fluid turbulence, and should be observable in the $\unicode[STIX]{x1D6FD}\gtrsim 1$ turbulent solar wind.« less
  2. A heat flux in a high- $\unicode[STIX]{x1D6FD}$ plasma with low collisionality triggers the whistler instability. Quasilinear theory predicts saturation of the instability in a marginal state characterized by a heat flux that is fully controlled by electron scattering off magnetic perturbations. This marginal heat flux does not depend on the temperature gradient and scales as $1/\unicode[STIX]{x1D6FD}$ . We confirm this theoretical prediction by performing numerical particle-in-cell simulations of the instability. We further calculate the saturation level of magnetic perturbations and the electron scattering rate as functions of $\unicode[STIX]{x1D6FD}$ and the temperature gradient to identify the saturation mechanism as quasilinear. Suppressionmore »of the heat flux is caused by oblique whistlers with magnetic-energy density distributed over a wide range of propagation angles. This result can be applied to high- $\unicode[STIX]{x1D6FD}$ astrophysical plasmas, such as the intracluster medium, where thermal conduction at sharp temperature gradients along magnetic-field lines can be significantly suppressed. We provide a convenient expression for the amount of suppression of the heat flux relative to the classical Spitzer value as a function of the temperature gradient and $\unicode[STIX]{x1D6FD}$ . For a turbulent plasma, the additional independent suppression by the mirror instability is capable of producing large total suppression factors (several tens in galaxy clusters) in regions with strong temperature gradients.« less