- Conference date: 17-31 June 2002
- Location: Pisa (Italy)
The influence of magnetic turbulence on magnetic field line diffusion has been known since the early days of space and plasma physics. However, the importance of “stochastic diffusion” for energetic particles has been challenged on the basis of the fact that sharp gradients of either energetic particles or ion composition are often observed in the solar wind. Here we show that fast transverse field line and particle diffusion can coexist with small magnetic structures, sharp gradients, and with long lived magnetic flux tubes. We show, by means of a numerical realization of three dimensional magnetic turbulence and by use of the concepts of deterministic chaos and turbulent transport, that turbulent diffusion is different from Gaussian diffusion, and that transport can be inhomogeneous even if turbulence homogeneously fills the heliosphere. Several diagnostics of field line transport and flux tube evolution are shown, and the size of small magnetic structures in the solar wind, like gradient scales and flux tube thickness, are estimated and compared to the observations.
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