IGPP Seminar Series

Turbulence in the Magnetotail

by Mostafa El-Alaoui


Observations indicate that flow and magnetic field variations in the magnetotail are consistent with MHD turbulence. In fluid turbulence large-scale fluid flows break up into successively smaller vortices resulting in a cascade of energy from the larger to smaller scales. To help understand MHD turbulence in the magnetosphere we have performed idealized global MHD simulations. In these simulations there was no turbulence in the solar wind and therefore all fluctuations must be of internal origin. Purely northward and southward IMF conditions were investigated. We computed turbulent power spectral densities (PSDs) and probability distribution functions (PDFs) at different locations in the simulated magnetosphere. Our analysis of these spectra can help us understand the driving and dissipative processes in the magnetotail. The simulation results, like the observations, are consistent with a turbulent tail.
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
3853 Slichter Hall
Refreshments at 3:45 PM
Lecture at 4:00 PM