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Version 1 Next » What drives the evolution of the solar wind distribution [radial dependence including perihelion]:

  • High time resolution variability in the magnetic field associated with particle distributions in different plasma parameter regimes (low and high plasma β, fast and slow wind) in order to quantify the links between particle distribution evolution and wave-particle interactions (Kasper et al., 2002; Matteini et al., 2007; Maksimovic et al., 2005). Role of the electron heat flux.
  • Characterize the non-thermal character of the electron distributions at perihelion and their evolution with heliocentric distance (Stverak et al., 2009; Maksimovic et al., 2005). What are the origins of waves, turbulence and small scale structures?

  • Quantify the undisturbed waves and relate the wave power and other characteristics to the source regions (by measuring photospheric motion in the regions from which the plasma originated) (Matthaeus and Goldstein, 1986; Bruno and Carbone, 2005; Matthaeus et al., 2007).
  • Identify and characterize the waves associated with the plasma instabilities that isotropize and heat the solar wind (Hellinger et al., 2006; Matteini et al., 2010).
  • Role of the high-frequency cyclotron waves.
  • Ion energization processes in the solar wind (study of the electric fluctuations near the ion cyclotron frequencies).
  • Ion cyclotron resonance damping of the high frequency part of the Alfvén spectrum (e.g. Cranmer, 2002).
  • Solve the problem of the mode conversion from Langmuir to electromagnetic waves (Bale et al., 1998; Kellogg et al. 1999; Farrell et al., 2004; Ergun et al., 2008). Characterize the energy balance between electron beams, Langmuir waves and electromagnetic radio waves at several heliocentric distances.
  • How do variations and structure in the solar wind affect low frequency radio wave propagation?
  • Small scale structures such as solitons (Rees et al., 2006), mirror modes (Stevens and Kasper, 2007), and draped fields and - in the case of dust trail signatures (Jones et al., 2003) - confirm or refute their correlation with predicted trails. Identify and characterize the solar wind reconnection physics in current sheets with thickness down to the ion scales and smaller. Electron physics within the current sheet. Magnetic islands formation. Compare microphysics of solar wind reconnection with magnetospheric reconnection. [not necessarily at perihelion] Magnetic reconnection in the chromosphere, the transition region and the corona, driven by magnetic field evolutionary processes – for instance, brightenings (Harrison et al., 1997), flows and jets (Innes et al., 1997) and plasma evaporation (Klimchuk, 2006). Reconnection between small closed loops and open structures supplying energy to the nascent solar wind in the form of waves and turbulent flows (Tu et al., 2005). [perihelion]


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