Recent Parker Solar Probe (PSP) observations of inner heliospheric plasma have shown an abundant presence of Alfvénic polarity reversal of the magnetic field, known as “switchbacks.”While their origin is still debated, their role in driving the solar wind turbulence has been suggested through analysis of the spectral properties of magnetic fluctuations. Here, we provide a complementary assessment of their role in the turbulent cascade. The validation of the third-order linear scaling of velocity and magnetic fluctuations in intervals characterized by a high occurrence of switchbacks suggests that, irrespective of their local or remote origin, these structures are actively embedded in the turbulent cascade, at least at the radial distances sampled by PSP during its first perihelion. The stronger positive energy transfer rate observed in periods with a predominance of switchbacks indicates that they act as a mechanism injecting additional energy in the turbulence cascade.
Impact of Switchbacks on Turbulent Cascade and Energy Transfer Rate in the Inner Heliosphere
Hernández, Carlos S.; Sorriso-Valvo, Luca; Bandyopadhyay, Riddhi; Chasapis, Alexandros; Vásconez, Christian L.; Marino, Raffaele; Pezzi, Oreste