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Evidence of a Cascade and Dissipation of Solar-Wind Turbulence at the Electron Gyroscale

Evidence of a Cascade and Dissipation of Solar-Wind Turbulence at the Electron Gyroscale

Publication date: 11 June 2009

Authors: Sahraoui, F. et al. 2009

Journal: Phys. Rev. Lett.
Volume: 102
Issue: 23
ID: 231102
Year: 2009

Copyright: The American Physical Society

We report the first direct determination of the dissipation range of magnetofluid turbulence in the solar wind at the electron scales. Combining high resolution magnetic and electric field data of the Cluster spacecraft, we computed the spectrum of turbulence and found two distinct breakpoints in the magnetic spectrum at 0.4 and 35 Hz, which correspond, respectively, to the Doppler-shifted proton and electron gyroscales, frho_p and frho_e. Below frho_p, the spectrum follows a Kolmogorov scaling f -1.62, typical of spectra observed at 1 AU. Above frho_p, a second inertial range is formed with a scaling f -2.3 down to frho_e. Above frho_e, the spectrum has a steeper power law ~f 4.1 down to the noise level of the instrument. We interpret this as the dissipation range and show a remarkable agreement with theoretical predictions of a quasi-two-dimensional cascade into Kinetic Alfvén Waves (KAW).

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