### 13.3 Introducing the Elsässer variables

The Alfvénic character of turbulence suggests to use the Elsässer variables to better describe the inward and outward contributions to turbulence. Following Elsässer (1950), Dobrowolny et al. (1980b), Goldstein et al. (1986), Grappin et al. (1989), Marsch and Tu (1989), Tu and Marsch (1990a), and Tu et al. (1989c), Elsässer variables are defined as
where and are the proton velocity and the magnetic field measured in the s/c reference frame, which can be looked at as an inertial reference frame. The sign in front of , in Equation (79), is decided by . In other words, for an outward directed mean field , a negative correlation would indicate an outward directed wave vector and vice-versa. However, it is more convenient to define the Elsässers variables in such a way that always refers to waves going outward and to waves going inward. In order to do so, the background magnetic field is artificially rotated by every time it points away from the Sun, in other words, magnetic sectors are rectified (Roberts et al., 1987a,b).

#### 13.3.1 Definitions and conservation laws

If we express in Alfvén units, that is we normalize it by we can use the following handy formulas relative to definitions of fields and second order moments. Fields:

Second order moments:
Normalized quantities:

We expect an Alfvèn wave to satisfy the following relations:

 Table 10: Expected values for Alfvèn ratio , normalized cross-helicity , and normalized residual energy for a pure Alfvèn wave outward or inward oriented.
 Parameter Definition Expected Value

#### 13.3.2 Spectral analysis using Elsässer variables

A spectral analysis of interplanetary data can be performed using and fields. Following Tu and Marsch (1995a) the energy spectrum associated with these two variables can be defined in the following way:

where are the Fourier coefficients of the j-component among , and , is the number of data points, is the sampling time, and , with is the -th frequency. The total energy associated with the two Alfvèn modes will be the sum of the energy of the three components, i.e.,

Obviously, using Equations (93, 94), we can redefine in the frequency domain all the parameters introduced in the previous section.