Characteristic Parameters of Drift Vortices Coupled to Alfvén Waves in an Inhomogeneous Space Plasma
Publication date: 04 Aug 2008
Authors: Sundkvist, D. and Bale, S.D.
Journal: Phys. Rev. Lett.
Copyright: The American Physical SocietyWe present detailed measurements of ion scale vortices of drift type coupled to Alfvén waves in an inhomogeneous and collisionless space magnetoplasma. The two free parameters of a dipolar vortex, intensity and spatial radius, are measured. The vortices are driven by a strong density gradient on a boundary layer with scale size of the same order as the vortex diameter. Observations of vortices off the gradient show that symmetry-breaking conditions in a real inhomogeneous plasma can lead not only to cross-field but also to cross-boundary anomalous transport of particles and energy.