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A statistical study of the cross-shock electric potential at low Mach number, quasi-perpendicular bow shock crossings using Cluster data

Abstract : [1] The cross-shock electrostatic potential at the front of collision-less shocks plays a key role in the distribution of energy at the shock front. Multipoint measurements such as those provided by the Cluster II mission provide an ideal framework for the study of the cross-shock potential because of their ability to distinguish between temporal and spacial variations at the shock front. We present a statistical study of the cross-shock potential calculated for around 50 crossings of the terrestrial bow shock. The statistical dependency of the normalized (with resect to upstream ion kinetic energy) cross-shock potential (F K) on the upstream Alfvén Mach number is in good agreement with analytical results that predict decrease of F k with increasing Mach number.
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A.P. Dimmock, M.A. Balikhin, V.V. Krasnoselskikh, S.N. Walker, S.D. Bale, et al.. A statistical study of the cross-shock electric potential at low Mach number, quasi-perpendicular bow shock crossings using Cluster data. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, American Geophysical Union, 2012, 117, A02210 (9 p.). ⟨10.1029/2011JA017089⟩. ⟨insu-01179603⟩

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