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Elsässer fields

Alfvenic turbulence is thought to be a source of energy for the heating and acceleration of the solar wind. As Alfven waves launched from the solar atmosphere propagate outwards they generate turbulence, due to interactions between the so-called "Elsässer fields". These are counter-propagating linear eignmodes in an initially homogeneous plasma. This visualization shows a numerical magnetohydodynamical simulation of idealized, driven turbulence. The top row shows the |z-| field, while the bottom row shows the |z+| field. The left column occurs during an initial, imbalanced decay phase of the system, while the middle column shows the intermediate, transitional period towards the balanced phase. The right column shows this balanced, magnetically dominated regime.

Methods: TURBO "reduced MHD" code