The presence of neutral species in a plasma has been shown to greatly affect the properties of magnetohydrodynamic waves. For instance, the interaction between ions and neutrals through momentum transfer collisions causes the damping of Alfv\’en waves and alters their oscillation frequency and phase speed. When the collision frequencies are larger than the frequency of the waves, single-fluid magnetohydrodynamic approximations can accurately describe the effects of partial ionization, since there is a strong coupling between the various species. However, at higher frequencies, the single-fluid models are not applicable and more complex approaches are required. Here, we use a five-fluid model with three ionized and two neutral components, which takes into consideration Hall’s current and Ohm’s diffusion in addition to the friction due to collisions between different species. We apply our model to plasmas composed of hydrogen and helium, and allow the ionization degree to be arbitrary. By means of the analysis of the corresponding dispersion relation and numerical simulations, we study the properties of small-amplitude perturbations. We discuss the effect of momentum transfer collisions on the ion-cyclotron resonances and compare the importance of magnetic resistivity, ion-neutral and ion-ion collisions on the wave damping at various frequency ranges. Application to partially ionized plasmas of the solar atmosphere are performed.
D. Martinez-Gomez, R. Soler and J. Terradas
Thu, 16 Mar 17
Comments: 24 pages, 15 figures. Revised version published in The Astrophysical Journal