AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 4 Plasma Astrophysics of Coronae
Poster, Monday, May 31, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Ballroom

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[4.02] Alpha Particle Heating in the Solar Wind: ACE Observations

S. P. Gary (LANL)

Alfvén-cyclotron fluctuations of successively shorter wavelengths in collisionless plasmas transfer energy via cyclotron resonances to ions of successively larger charge-to-mass ratios. Theories and simulations predict that this interaction leads to T\perp/T\| > 1 for each resonant ion species, where the subscripts refer to directions relative to the background magnetic field. Here observations of the slow solar wind near 1 AU by the plasma and magnetic field instruments on the ACE spacecraft are reported which show the predicted signatures of such wave-ion interactions in the alpha particle anisotropies, as well as correlations between the enhanced temperatures of these ions and the amplitudes of magnetic field fluctuations.

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The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: pgary@lanl.gov

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