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Thursday, July 26 2018

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The solar wind is a plasma flow that emanates from the solar corona and fills the interplanetary space. Collisions between plasma particles are very rare. Therefore, the plasma can deviate from thermodynamic equilibrium. If these deviations are large enough, the plasma drives kinetic instabilities, which create small-scale fluctuations and bring the plasma closer to equilibrium by scattering particles in velocity space. I will show signatures of these instabilities in spacecraft observations of both the particles and the electromagnetic fields in the solar wind.