EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 416, Number 3, March IV 2004
Page(s) L31 - L34
Section Letters
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20040063

A&A 416, L31-L34 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20040063


Reabsorption of self-generated turbulent energy by pick-up protons in the outer heliosphere

S. V. Chalov1, D. B. Alexashov1 and H. J. Fahr2

1  Institute for Problems in Mechanics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Pr. Vernadskogo 101-1, 119526 Moscow, Russia
2  Institute for Astrophysics and Extraterrestrial Research of the University of Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany

(Received 5 January 2004 / Accepted 11 February 2004)

It is well known that newly created pick-up ions are first injected into a toroidal distribution in the velocity space which comoves with the solar wind. This distribution is, however, unstable with respect to excitation of resonant MHD waves, and thus by wave-driving some specific amount of the initial kinetic energy of pick-up ions is handed over to the ambient wave fields, while the pick-up ion velocity distribution thereby is rearranged. In this paper we describe the developement of the wavenumber spectrum of pick-up proton-generated turbulence and the pick-up proton energy spectrum resulting from resonant reabsorption of this turbulence, by solving simultaneously the coupled system of two differential equations for the spectral turbulence power and the pick-up proton spectral intensity. We show that the majority of pick-up generated wave energy in the range of wavenumbers above the wavenumber at which the waves are produced is reabsorbed by the pick-up protons themselves.

Key words: acceleration of particles -- waves -- solar wind

Offprint request: S. V. Chalov, chalov@ipmnet.ru

© ESO 2004