Rice University

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Seminar

Physics & Astronomy

Speaker: Katherine A. Goodrich
Univeristy of Colorado at Boulder/LASP

Space Physics - GENERATION AND MICRO-SCALE EFFECTS OF HIGH FREQUENCY PARALLEL ELECTRIC FIELDS IN AN OBLIQUE SHOCK AS OBSERVED BY MMS

Monday, March 27, 2017
12:00 PM  to 12:50 PM

227  Herman Brown Hall
Rice University
6100 Main St
Houston, Texas, USA

Previous observations of the terrestrial bow shock have frequently shown large-amplitude fluctuations in the parallel electric field. These parallel electric fields are seen as nonlinear electrostatic solitary waves, such as double layers and phase-space holes, and short-wavelength ion acoustic waves. The amplitudes of these E|| waves and structures are observed to reach large amplitudes over 200 mV/m. Ion acoustic waves are seen in very discrete packets and evolve over time scales of less than a second, indicating the presence of a wealth of kinetic scale activity. The generation mechanism and effects of such parallel electric field structures have not been fully demonstrated. Observation has been limited due to the small spatial scales of such activity. The high time resolution of the instruments available on MMS offers greater detail of the kinetic-scale physics that occur at bow shocks than ever before, allowing greater insight into the overall effect of these observed electric fields. Measurements from an oblique terrestrial bow shock event show that occurrence electrostatic solitary waves and ion acoustic waves correlate with magnetic turbulence and the interaction between counterstreaming ions respectively. We also present observations of possible localized electron heating and ion acceleration associated with these parallel electric fields.

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