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





Citation of Original Publication

Sahraoui, F., M. L. Goldstein, P. Robert, and Yu. V. Khotyaintsev. “Evidence of a Cascade and Dissipation of Solar-Wind Turbulence at the Electron Gyroscale.” Physical Review Letters 102, no. 23 (June 10, 2009): 231102. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.102.231102.


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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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, fpp and fpe . Below fpp , the spectrum follows a Kolmogorov scaling f⁻¹.⁶², typical of spectra observed at 1 AU. Above fpp , a second inertial range is formed with a scaling f⁻².³ down to fpe . Above fpe , 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 quasitwo-dimensional cascade into Kinetic Alfven Waves (KAW).