Observation of Counter Propagating Alfven Waves with Perpendicular Polarizations and the Associated Proton Kinetics

Friday, 19 December 2014: 3:10 PM
Jiansen He1, Zhong-Tian Pei1, Linghua Wang1, Chuan-Yi Tu1, Eckart Marsch2 and Shuo Yao3, (1)Peking University, Beijing, China, (2)University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany, (3)China University of Geosciences, Beijing, Beijing, China
It is believed that MHD turbulence cascading is mainly caused by the collisions between Alfven waves, which propagate oppositely and are polarized perpendicularly to each other. Nonlinear interaction will vanish if the counter-propagating Alfven waves have their polarization aligned with each other. However, the Alfven waves satisfying these collision criteria have not yet been found in the solar wind observations. Here we report the existence of Alfven waves with opposite propagation and non-aligned polarization in the solar wind. In one case of anti-sunward magnetic sector, with RTN as the coordinates, the magnetic fluctuations in T-component (BT) are anti-correlated with the velocity fluctuations in T-component (VT), while BR and BN fluctuations are in positive correlation with VR and VN fluctuations, respectively. These features suggest a possible nonlinear interaction between outward propagating Alfven wave with polarization in T-direction and inward propagating Alfven wave with polarization in R&N-directions. Moreover, the associated proton kinetics shows the existence of field-aligned sunward beam rather than anti-sunward beam, which may indicate a parallel Landau heating by sunward kinetic Alfven waves. A statistical study including more cases is also conducted.