Vol. 2 (2005) > lrsp-2005-4

doi: 10.12942/lrsp-2005-4
Living Rev. Solar Phys. 2 (2005), 4

The Solar Wind as a Turbulence Laboratory

1 Istituto Fisica Spazio Interplanetario - INAF, Via Fosso del Cavaliere 100, 00133 Rome, Italy
2 Dipartimento di Fisica, Università della Calabria, Ponte P. Bucci, Cubo 31C 87036 Rende (CS), Italy

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Article Abstract

In this review we will focus on a topic of fundamental importance for both plasma physics and astrophysics, namely the occurrence of large-amplitude low-frequency fluctuations of the fields that describe the plasma state. This subject will be treated within the context of the expanding solar wind and the most meaningful advances in this research field will be reported emphasizing the results obtained in the past decade or so. As a matter of fact, Ulysses’ high latitude observations and new numerical approaches to the problem, based on the dynamics of complex systems, brought new important insights which helped to better understand how turbulent fluctuations behave in the solar wind. In particular, numerical simulations within the realm of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence theory unraveled what kind of physical mechanisms are at the basis of turbulence generation and energy transfer across the spectral domain of the fluctuations. In other words, the advances reached in these past years in the investigation of solar wind turbulence now offer a rather complete picture of the phenomenological aspect of the problem to be tentatively presented in a rather organic way.

Keywords: Turbulence, Nonlinear phenomena, Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), Dynamical systems, Solar wind, Interplanetary space

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Article Citation

Since a Living Reviews in Solar Physics article may evolve over time, please cite the access <date>, which uniquely identifies the version of the article you are referring to:

Roberto Bruno and Vincenzo Carbone,
"The Solar Wind as a Turbulence Laboratory",
Living Rev. Solar Phys. 2,  (2005),  4. URL (cited on <date>):
http://www.livingreviews.org/lrsp-2005-4

Article History

ORIGINAL http://www.livingreviews.org/lrsp-2005-4
Title The Solar Wind as a Turbulence Laboratory
Author Roberto Bruno / Vincenzo Carbone
Date accepted 9 April 2005, published 20 September 2005
UPDATE http://www.livingreviews.org/lrsp-2013-2
Title The Solar Wind as a Turbulence Laboratory
Author Roberto Bruno / Vincenzo Carbone
Date accepted 22 March 2013, published 29 May 2013
Changes Sections 2.11, 2.12, and 2.13 have been added and refer to Yaglom’s law. Sections 3.1.1 has been modified to include recent results on spectral index measurements for velocity and magnetic field fluctuations. Section 3.1.2 “Experimental evaluation of Reynolds number in the solar wind” is new. Section 3.1.3 has been slightly modified to describe the updated version of Figure 29. Section 3.2.1 has been extended to include new results on magnetic structures. Section 10.1 “On the statistics of magnetic field directional fluctuations” is new. Section 8 is new and deals with “Observations of Yaglom’s Law in Solar Wind Turbulence”. Section 11, 12 and 13 have been added and deal with small scale dissipative/dispersive range and turbulent heating The last Section 14 “Conclusions and Remarks” has been slightly modified to comment on some of the new results reported in this updated version. Appendix F has been slightly updated. 20 new figures have been added. The number of references has increased from 296 to 439.
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