The dynamics of electron holes in current sheets

Pavel I. Shustov, Ilya V. Kuzichev, Ivan Y. Vasko, Anton V. Artemyev, Andrew J. Gerrard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We present 1.5D Vlasov code simulations of the dynamics of electron holes in non-uniform magnetic and electric fields typical of current sheets and, particularly, of the Earth's magnetotail current sheet. The simulations show that spatial width and amplitude of electron holes do not substantially vary in the course of propagation, but there arises a double layer localized around the electron hole and manifested as a drop of the electrostatic potential along the electron hole. We demonstrate that electron holes produced around the neutral plane of a current sheet slow down in the course of propagation toward the current sheet boundaries. The leading contribution to electron hole braking is provided by the non-uniform magnetic field although electrostatic fields typical of the current sheets do provide a noticeable contribution. The simulations also show that electron holes with larger amplitudes are slowed faster. The simulation results suggest that some of the slow electron holes recently reported in the Earth's plasma sheet boundary layer may appear due to braking of initially fast electron holes in the course of propagation in the current sheet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012902
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics

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