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Drift-Alfvén vortices at the ion Larmor radius scale

Abstract : The theory of nonlinear drift-Alfven waves with the spatial scales comparable to the ion Larmor radius is developed. It is shown that the set of equations describing the nonlinear dynamics of drift-Alfven waves in a quasistationary regime admits a solution in the form of a solitary dipole vortex. The vortex structures propagating perpendicular to the ambient magnetic field faster than the diamagnetic ion drift velocity possess spatial scales larger than the ion Larmor radius, and vice versa. The variation of the vortex impedance and spatial scale as the function of the vortex velocity is analyzed. It is shown that incorporation of the finite electron temperature effects results in the appearance of a minimum in the dependence of the vortex impedance on the vortex velocity. This leads to the existence of the vortex structures with the smallest impedance. These structures are probably the most favorable energetically and can easily be excited in space plasmas. The relevance of theoretical results obtained to the Cluster observations in the magnetospheric cusp and magnetosheath is stressed
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O. G. Onishchenko, Vladimir Krasnoselskikh, O. A. Pokhotelov. Drift-Alfvén vortices at the ion Larmor radius scale. Physics of Plasmas, American Institute of Physics, 2008, 15 (2), pp.022903. ⟨10.1063/1.2844744⟩. ⟨insu-02515691⟩