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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. We discuss the phenomenon of energization of relativistic charged particles in three-dimensional incompressible MHD turbulence and the diffusive properties of the motion of the same particles. We show that the random electric field induced by turbulent plasma motion leads test particles moving in a simulated box to be accelerated in a stochastic way, a second-order Fermi process. A small fraction of these particles happen to be trapped in large scale structures, most likely formed due to the interaction of islands in the turbulence. Such particles get accelerated exponentially, provided their pitch angle satisfies some conditions. We discuss at length the characterization of the accelerating structure and the physical processes responsible for rapid acceleration. We also comment on the applicability of the results to realistic astrophysical turbulence.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 20, 2023
  3. We demonstrate an efficient mechanism for generating magnetic fields in turbulent, collisionless plasmas. By using fully kinetic, particle-in-cell simulations of an initially nonmagnetized plasma, we inspect the genesis of magnetization, in a nonlinear regime. The complex motion is initiated via a Taylor–Green vortex, and the plasma locally develops strong electron temperature anisotropy, due to the strain tensor of the turbulent flow. Subsequently, in a domino effect, the anisotropy triggers a Weibel instability, localized in space. In such active wave–particle interaction regions, the seed magnetic field grows exponentially and spreads to larger scales due to the interaction with the underlying stirring motion. Such a self-feeding process might explain magnetogenesis in a variety of astrophysical plasmas, wherever turbulence is present.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 29, 2022