The role of the electron convection term for the parallel electric field and electron acceleration in MHD simulations

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Abstract

There has been a great concern about the origin of the parallel electric field in the frame of fluid equations in the auroral acceleration region. This paper proposes a new method to simulate magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equations that include the electron convection term and shows its efficiency with simulation results in one dimension. We apply a third-order semi-discrete central scheme to investigate the characteristics of the electron convection term including its nonlinearity. At a steady state discontinuity, the sum of the ion and electron convection terms balances with the ion pressure gradient. We find that the electron convection term works like the gradient of the negative pressure and reduces the ion sound speed or amplifies the sound mode when parallel current flows. The electron convection term enables us to describe a situation in which a parallel electric field and parallel electron acceleration coexist, which is impossible for ideal or resistive MHD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number082901
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Volume18
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Aug

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics

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