Effect of magnetic islands on the localization of kinetic Alfvén wave





Citation of Original Publication

Rajesh Kumar Rai, Swati Sharma, Nitin Yadav, M. L. Goldstein, R. P. Sharma; Effect of magnetic islands on the localization of kinetic Alfvén wave. Phys. Plasmas 1 December 2015; 22 (12): 122106. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4936873


This work was written as part of one of the author's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under U.S. Law.
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Recent studies have revealed an intimate link between magnetic reconnection and turbulence. Observations show that kinetic Alfvén waves (KAWs) play a very crucial role in magnetic reconnection and have been a topic of interest from decades in the context of turbulence and particle heating. In the present paper, we study the role that KAW plays in the formation of coherent structures/current sheets when KAW is propagating in the pre-existing fully developed chain of magnetic islands. We derived the dynamical equation of KAW in the presence of chain of magnetic islands and solved it using numerical simulations well as analytic tools. Due to pre-existing chain of magnetic islands, KAW splits into coherent structures and the scale size of these structures along transverse directions (with respect to background magnetic field) comes out to be either less than or greater than ion gyro radius. Therefore, the present work may be the first step towards understanding how magnetic reconnection generated islands may affect the KAW localization and eventually contribute to magnetic turbulence. In this way the present approach may be helpful to understand the interplay between magnetic reconnection and turbulence in ion diffusion region.