The problem of phase mixed shear Alfvén waves in the solar corona revisited



The problem of phase mixing of shear Alfvén waves is revisited taking into account dissipative phenomena specific for the solar corona. In regions of space plasmas where the dynamics is controlled by the magnetic field, transport coefficients become anisotropic with transport mechanism having different behavior and magnitude depending on the orientation with respect to the ambient magnetic field. Taking into account realistic values for dissipative coefficients we obtain that the previous results derived in context of torsional Alfvén wave phase mixing are actually heavily underestimated so phase mixing cannot be used to explain the damping of torsional Alfvén waves and heating of open coronal structures. The presented results indicate that in order for phase mixing to still be a viable mechanism to explain heating or wave damping unrealistic assumptions have to be made. (© 2008 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)