Resonance of Low-frequency Electromagnetic and Ion-sound Modes in the Solar Wind

I. Y. Vasko, F. S. Mozer, T. Bowen, J. Verniero, X. An, A. V. Artemyev, S. D. Bale, J. W. Bonnell, J. Halekas, I. V. Kuzichev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parker Solar Probe measurements have recently shown that coherent fast magnetosonic and Alfvén ion-cyclotron waves are abundant in the solar wind and can be accompanied by higher-frequency electrostatic fluctuations. In this Letter we reveal the nonlinear process capable of channelling the energy of low-frequency electromagnetic to higher-frequency electrostatic fluctuations observed on board Parker Solar Probe. We present Hall-MHD simulations demonstrating that low-frequency electromagnetic fluctuations can resonate with the ion-sound mode, which results in steepening of plasma density fluctuations, electrostatic spikes, and harmonics in the electric field spectrum. The resonance can occur around the wavenumber determined by the ratio between local sound and Alfvén speeds, but only in the case of oblique propagation to the background magnetic field. The resonance wavenumber, its width, and steepening timescale are estimated, and all indicate that the revealed two-wave resonance can frequently occur in the solar wind. This process can be a potential channel of energy transfer from cyclotron resonant ions producing the electromagnetic fluctuations to Landau resonant ions and electrons absorbing the energy of the higher-frequency electrostatic fluctuations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL31
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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