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Element Fractionation by the Ponderomotive Force

Whitepaper #228 in the Decadal Survey for Solar and Space Physics (Heliophysics) 2024-2033. Main topics: basic research. Additional topics: fundamental space plasma theory; solar physics; space-based missions/projects.

Published onJul 31, 2023
Element Fractionation by the Ponderomotive Force

We describe a qualitatively new effect recently identified in solar physics and astrophysics, that of ion-neutral separation in the chromosphere caused by the ponderomotive force associated with Alfven and fast mode waves. We argue that these abundance anomalies are a promising route to understanding solar atmospheric waves, and hence many facets of solar activity and plasma energization.

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