Energy transfer, pressure tensor, and heating of kinetic plasma

Yan Yang, William H. Matthaeus, Tulasi N. Parashar, Colby C. Haggerty, Vadim Roytershteyn, William Daughton, Minping Wan, Yipeng Shi, Shiyi Chen
2017 Physics of Plasmas  
Kinetic plasma turbulence cascade spans multiple scales ranging from macroscopic fluid flow to sub-electron scales. Mechanisms that dissipate large scale energy, terminate the inertial range cascade and convert kinetic energy into heat are hotly debated. Here we revisit these puzzles using fully kinetic simulation. By performing scale-dependent spatial filtering on the Vlasov equation, we extract information at prescribed scales and introduce several energy transfer functions. This approach
more » ... ws highly inhomogeneous energy cascade to be quantified as it proceeds down to kinetic scales. The pressure work, -( P·∇) ·u, can trigger a channel of the energy conversion between fluid flow and random motions, which is a collision-free generalization of the viscous dissipation in collisional fluid. Both the energy transfer and the pressure work are strongly correlated with velocity gradients.
doi:10.1063/1.4990421 fatcat:zgnqlsivinhefoelxupdxzvlri