Analysis of the scaling of the mixed third moments of velocity and magnetic fluctuations in the solar wind plasma, and the energy cascade rates derived from the scaling, reveal a strong dependence on the amount of cross-field correlation between the velocity and magnetic field fluctuations. When the correlation is greater than about 75%, the cascade rate of the outward-propagating (majority) component, and of the total energy and the cross-helicity are surprisingly negative. This indicates a back transfer of energy from small to large scales within the inertial range of the dominant outward-propagating component. It is clear that the transfer of energy acts to reinforce the dominance of the outward-propagating (majority) component and may explain, in part, the persistent observations of large cross-field correlations that have been a defining aspect of solar wind physics for almost 40 years.
|Journal||Physical Review Letters|
|Publication status||Published - 10 Nov 2009|