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Solar coronal heating by plasma waves

Bingham, R. and Shukla, P.K. and Eliasson, Bengt and Stenflo, L. (2010) Solar coronal heating by plasma waves. Journal of Plasma Physics, 76 (2). pp. 135-158. ISSN 0022-3778

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Abstract

The solar coronal plasma is maintained at temperatures of millions of degrees, much hotter than the photosphere, which is at a temperature of just 6000 K. In this paper, the plasma particle heating based on the kinetic theory of wave-particle interactions involving kinetic Alfvén waves and lower-hybrid drift modes is presented. The solar coronal plasma is collisionless and therefore the heating must rely on turbulent wave heating models, such as lower-hybrid drift models at reconnection sites or the kinetic Alfvén waves. These turbulent wave modes are created by a variety of instabilities driven from below. The transition region at altitudes of about 2000 km is an important boundary chromosphere, since it separates the collision-dominated photosphere/chromosphere and the collisionless corona. The collisionless plasma of the corona is ideal for supporting kinetic wave-plasma interactions. Wave-particle interactions lead to anisotropic non-Maxwellian plasma distribution functions, which may be investigated by using spectral analysis procedures being developed at the present time.