Power law distributions of burst duration and interburst interval in the solar wind: Turbulence or dissipative self-organized criticality?

We calculate the probability density functions P of burst energy e, duration T, and interburst interval τ for a known turbulent system in nature. Bursts in the Earth-Sun component of the Poynting flux at 1 AU in the solar wind were measured using the MFI and SWE experiments on the NASA WIND spacecraft. We find P(e) and P(T) to be power laws, consistent with self-organized criticality (SOC). We find also a power-law form for P(τ) that distinguishes this turbulent cascade from the exponential P(τ) of ideal SOC, but not from some other SOC-like sandpile models. We discuss the implications for the relation between SOC and turbulence.


Publication status:
Authors: Freeman, M.P. ORCIDORCID record for M.P. Freeman, Watkins, N.W., Riley, D.J.

On this site: Mervyn Freeman
1 January, 2000
Physical Review E / 62
Link to published article: