Volume 22, Issue 9, September 2015
Index of content:
- WAVES AND PARTICLES IN SPACE AND ASTROPHYSICAL PLASMAS
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4928943View Description Hide Description
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4928945View Description Hide Description
The intensity of Galactic cosmic rays in the heliosphere is modulated by solar activities. The outer boundary where the solar modulation begins has always been a subject matter of debate in the cosmic-ray and heliophysics community. Various experimental methods and theoretical model calculations have been used to determine the boundary. Although the heliopause was always suspected to be the boundary, it is only until very recently after Voyager 1 had crossed the heliopause did we confirm that the boundary is indeed the heliopause. In this paper, we use a model simulation and detailed Voyager observation of cosmic rays at the heliopause crossing to show that the modulation boundary, in fact, is a fraction of an AU beyond the heliopause. Such a conclusion requires a very low turbulence level of the interstellar magnetic field in the outer heliosheath. According to the quasi-linear theory, a low level of turbulence should result in a very large diffusion coefficient parallel to the magnetic field and a very small perpendicular diffusion coefficient. For the first time, we are confident that Voyager 1 has obtained the truly pristine local interstellar cosmic-ray spectra down to the energies below 1 MeV. The cosmic-ray intensity is rapidly filtered by a thin layer of the interstellar magnetic field immediately outside of the heliopause. Its filtration amount depends on the conditions of magnetic field turbulence on the both sides of the heliopause, thus making it solar-cycle dependent as well.
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4928940View Description Hide Description
Since the development of satellite space technology about 50 years ago the solar heliosphere is explored almost routinely by several spacecrafts carrying detectors for measuring the properties of the interplanetary medium including energetic charged particles (cosmic rays), solar wind particle densities, and electromagnetic fields. In 2012, the Voyager 1 spacecraft has even left what could be described as the heliospheric modulation region, as indicated by the sudden disappearance of low energy heliospheric cosmic ray particles. With the available in-situ measurements of interplanetary turbulent electromagnetic fields and of the momentum spectra of different cosmic ray species in different interplanetary environments, the heliosphere is the best cosmic laboratory to test our understanding of the transport and acceleration of cosmic rays in space plasmas. I review both the historical development and the current state of various cosmic ray transport equations. Similarities and differences to transport theories for terrestrial fusion plasmas are highlighted. Any progress in cosmic ray transport requires a detailed understanding of the electromagnetic turbulence that is responsible for the scattering and acceleration of these particles.
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4928944View Description Hide Description
Important nonlinear wave-wave and wave-particle interactions that occur in the Earth's Van Allen radiation belts are investigated in a laboratory experiment. Predominantly electrostatic waves in the whistler branch are launched that propagate near the resonance cone with measured wave normal angle greater than . When the pump amplitude exceeds a threshold times the background magnetic field, wave power at frequencies below the pump frequency is observed at wave normal angles . The scattered wave has a perpendicular wavelength that is nearly an order of magnitude larger than that of the pump wave. Occasionally, the parametric decay of a lower hybrid wave into a magnetosonic wave and a whistler wave is simultaneously observed with a threshold of .
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4928942View Description Hide Description
Cosmic ray propagation is diffusive because of pitch angle scattering by waves. We demonstrate that if the high-amplitude magnetohydrodynamic turbulence with is present on top of the mean field gradient, the diffusion becomes asymmetric. As an example, we consider the vertical transport of cosmic rays in our Galaxy propagating away from a point-like source. We solve this diffusion problem analytically using a one-dimensional Markov chain analysis. We obtained that the cosmic ray density markedly differs from the standard diffusion prediction and has a sizable effect on their distribution throughout the galaxy. The equation for the continuous limit is also derived, which shows limitations of the convection-diffusion equation.
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4928941View Description Hide Description
Recent efforts in cosmic ray (CR) confinement and transport theory are discussed. Three problems are addressed as being crucial for understanding the present day observations and their possible telltale signs of the CR origin. The first problem concerns CR behavior right after their release from a source, such as a supernova remnant. At this phase, the CRs are confined near the source by self-emitted Alfven waves. The second is the problem of diffusive propagation of CRs through the turbulent interstellar medium. This is a seemingly straightforward and long-resolved problem, but it remains controversial and reveals paradoxes. A resolution based on the Chapman-Enskog asymptotic CR transport analysis, that also includes magnetic focusing, is suggested. The third problem is about a puzzling sharp ( ) anisotropies in the CR arrival directions that might bear on important clues of their transport between the source and observer. The overarching goal is to improve our understanding of all aspects of the CR's source escape and ensuing propagation through the galaxy to the level at which their sources can be identified observationally.