Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2013

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Howes, Gregory G.

First Committee Member

Skiff, Frederick N.

Second Committee Member

Kletzing, Craig A.

Third Committee Member

Spangler, Steven R.

Fourth Committee Member

Ratner, Albert


As means of investigating the various mechanisms which contribute to the persistence of magnetized turbulence in the solar wind, this dissertation details the development of tools through which turbulence theories can be directly compared to in situ observations. This comparison is achieved though the construction of synthetic spacecraft time series from spectra of randomly phased linear eigenmodes.

A broad overview of the current understanding of plasma turbulence through analytic theory, spacecraft observation, and numerical simulation is presented with particular emphasis on previous uses of linear eigenmode characteristics in the literature.

An analytic treatment of relevant fluid and kinetic linear waves follows, providing motivation for the choice of three eigenmode characteristics for studying solar wind turbulence in this dissertation.

The novel synthetic spacecraft time series method is next detailed and its use in describing magnetized turbulence justified.

The three metrics are then individually employed as a means of comparing the turbulence models used to generate synthetic time series with in situ observations. These comparisons provide useful constraints on various proposed mechanisms for sustaining the turbulence cascade and heating the solar wind plasma.


Kinetic Plasma Physics, Plasmas, Solar Wind, Turbulence


xii, 213 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 200-213).


Copyright 2013 Kristopher Gregory Klein

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