Hybrid simulations of whistler waves generation and current closure by a pulsed tether in the ionosphere





Citation of Original Publication

Chang, C. L., A. S. Lipatov, A. T. Drobot, K. Papadopoulos, and P. Satya-Narayana. “Hybrid Simulations of Whistler Waves Generation and Current Closure by a Pulsed Tether in the Ionosphere.” Geophysical Research Letters 21, no. 11 (1994): 1015–18. https://doi.org/10.1029/94GL00700.


©1994. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved



The dynamic response of a magnetized collisionless plasma to an externally driven, finite size, sudden switch-on current source across the magnetic field has been studied using a two dimensional hybrid code. It was found that the predominant plasma response was the excitation of whistler waves and the formation of current closure by induced currents in the plasma. The results show that the current closure path consists of: a) two antiparallel field-aligned current channels at the end of the imposed current sheet; and b) a cross-field current region connecting these channels. The formation of the current closure path occured in the whistler timescale much shorter than that of MHD and the closure region expanded continuously in time. The current closure process was accompanied by significant energy loss due to whistler radiation.