Mirror instability: From quasi-linear diffusion to coherent structures

P. Hellinger, E. A. Kuznetsov, T. Passot, P. L. Sulem, P. M. Trávníček

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    29 Citations (Scopus)


    A model for the nonlinear dynamics of mirror modes near the instability threshold is presented. By matching the quasi-linear theory for the space-averaged distribution function with a reductive perturbative description of the mirror modes, the model reproduces the early-time flattening of the distribution function and the development of magnetic humps from an initial noise, in agreement with VlasovMaxwell numerical simulations. It suggests a possible mechanism at the origin of the mirror structures observed in planetary magnetosheaths and in the solar wind.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberL06103
    JournalGeophysical Research Letters
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2009


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