The damping process of field-aligned, low-frequency right-handed polarized nonlinear Alfvén waves (NAWs) in solar wind plasmas with and without proton beams is studied by using a two-dimensional ion hybrid code. The numerical results show that the obliquely propagating kinetic Alfvén waves (KAWs) excited by beam protons affect the damping of the low-frequency NAW in low beta plasmas, while the nonlinear wave-wave interaction between parallel propagating waves and nonlinear Landau damping due to the envelope modulation are the dominant damping process in high beta plasmas. The nonlinear interaction between the NAWs and KAWs does not cause effective energy transfer to the perpendicular direction. Numerical results suggest that while the collisionless damping due to the compressibility of the envelope-modulated NAW plays an important role in the damping of the field-aligned NAW, the effect of the beam instabilities may not be negligible in low beta solar wind plasmas.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science