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Energy dissipation by whistler turbulence: Three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations
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Three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations of whistler turbulence are carried out on a collisionless, homogeneous, magnetized plasma model. The simulations use an initial ensemble of relatively long wavelength whistler modes and follow the temporal evolution of the fluctuations as they cascade into a broadband, anisotropic, turbulent spectrum at shorter wavelengths. For relatively small levels of the initial fluctuation energy ϵ e , linear collisionless damping provides most of the dissipation of the turbulence. But as ϵ e and the total dissipation increase, linear damping becomes less important and, especially at β e ≪ 1, nonlinear processes become stronger. The PDFs and kurtoses of the magnetic field increments in the simulations suggest that intermittency in whistler turbulence generally increases with increasing ϵ e and β e . Correlation coefficient calculations imply that the current structure dissipation also increases with increasing ϵ e and β e , and that the nonlinear dissipation processes in these simulations are primarily associated with regions of localized current structures.
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