On the relative magnitude of streaming velocities of alpha particles and protons at 1 AU

S. Cuperman, N. Metzler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The occurrence at a heliocentric distance of 1 AU of alpha particle streaming velocities larger than proton streaming velocities, vα/vp>1 (Ogilvie, 1975) is investigated on the basis of the theory suggesting the existence in the solar wind of an accelerating force acting preferentially on the alpha particles. Accurate solution of the three-fluid model equations for the quiet solar wind indicates that a necessary and sufficient condition for (vα/vp)1 AU>1 is the presence of a relatively weak accelerating force acting in a limited region in the vicinity of 1 AU. If the force is effective only at small heliocentric distances, the alpha particle streaming velocity excess vanishes at distances less than 1 AU, because of the (equalization) action of the dynamical friction force.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-417
Number of pages7
JournalAstrophysics and Space Science
Volume45
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1976

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