Journal Article

Self-inhibiting heat flux

S. L. Pistinner and D. Eichler

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 301, issue 1, pages 49-58
Published in print November 1998 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online November 1998 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-8711.1998.01770.x
Self-inhibiting heat flux

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Heat transfer through weakly magnetized diffuse astrophysical plasmas excites whistlers. This leads to electron whistler resonant scattering, a reduction of the electron mean free path, and heat flux inhibition. However, only whistlers propagating at a finite angle to the magnetic field (off-axis) can scatter the heat flux carrying electrons. Thus the level of heat flux inhibition along the magnetic field lines depends on the presence of off-axis whistlers.

We obtain a solution of the Boltzmann equation with the whistler wave equation and show that if εthβe ≫ 10−4, where εth is the thermal collisional Knudsen number and βe is the ratio of the electron pressure to the magnetic energy density, then scattering of heat flux carrying electrons by off-axis whistlers, which are shown to propagate at about 65°, is efficient enough to lead to heat flux inhibition along field lines. The inhibition so obtained is proportional to (εthβe)−1.

Keywords: conduction; hydrodynamics; magnetic fields; plasmas; waves

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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