University of Wisconsin - Madison College of Engineering
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Plasma Physics Seminar

Monday, March 19

12:05 PM

2535 Engineering Hall

Speaker:  Dr. Benjamin Chandran, University of New Hampshire
"Alfven Wave Turbulence and the Origin of the Solar Wind"
Abstract:  The origin of the solar wind is one of the most important unsolved problems in space physics. In this talk, I will describe one of the leading theories for the origin of the solar wind, which holds that the solar wind is powered by an outward flux of Alfven waves from the Sun. I will focus on two plasma-physics problems that arise in this theory. The first is the question of how Alfven-wave turbulence is affected by the non-WKB reflection of low-frequency Alfven waves in the inhomogeneous solar corona and solar wind. The second is the question of how low-frequency Alfven-wave turbulence can explain the perpendicular ion heating that is observed in the solar wind, even when the wave frequencies are too small to cause resonant cyclotron heating. I will also briefly discuss recent work that incorporates Alfven wave turbulence and the collisionless dissipation of this turbulence into a global, two-fluid solar wind model with temperature anisotropy.