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Characteristic Parameters of Drift Vortices Coupled to Alfvén Waves in an Inhomogeneous Space Plasma

Characteristic Parameters of Drift Vortices Coupled to Alfvén Waves in an Inhomogeneous Space Plasma

Publication date: 05 August 2008

Authors: Sundkvist, D. and Bale, S.D.

Journal: Phys. Rev. Lett.
Volume: 101
Issue: 6
ID: 065001
Year: 2008

Copyright: The American Physical Society

We 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.

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