Electron-Driven Instabilities in the Solar Wind

Verscharen, Daniel and Chandran, B. D. G. and Boella, E. and Halekas, J. and Innocenti, M. E. and Jagarlamudi, V. K. and Micera, A. and Pierrard, V. and Štverák, Š. and Vasko, I. Y. and Velli, M. and Whittlesey, P. L. (2022) Electron-Driven Instabilities in the Solar Wind. Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences, 9. ISSN 2296-987X

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Abstract

The electrons are an essential particle species in the solar wind. They often exhibit non-equilibrium features in their velocity distribution function. These include temperature anisotropies, tails (kurtosis), and reflectional asymmetries (skewness), which contribute a significant heat flux to the solar wind. If these non-equilibrium features are sufficiently strong, they drive kinetic micro-instabilities. We develop a semi-graphical framework based on the equations of quasi-linear theory to describe electron-driven instabilities in the solar wind. We apply our framework to resonant instabilities driven by temperature anisotropies. These include the electron whistler anisotropy instability and the propagating electron firehose instability. We then describe resonant instabilities driven by reflectional asymmetries in the electron distribution function. These include the electron/ion-acoustic, kinetic Alfvén heat-flux, Langmuir, electron-beam, electron/ion-cyclotron, electron/electron-acoustic, whistler heat-flux, oblique fast-magnetosonic/whistler, lower-hybrid fan, and electron-deficit whistler instability. We briefly comment on non-resonant instabilities driven by electron temperature anisotropies such as the mirror-mode and the non-propagating firehose instability. We conclude our review with a list of open research topics in the field of electron-driven instabilities in the solar wind.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences
Subjects:
ID Code:
174739
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
02 Nov 2022 13:25
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 11:44