Modeling drift along the heliospheric wavy neutral sheet

11 November 2013

Drift along the wavy heliospheric neutral sheet is believed to play an important role in cosmic-ray modulation and can explain the peaked versus flat intensity profiles during consecutive solar magnetic epochs. Modulation models are becoming more and more realistic and in order to determine the role of the wavy neutral sheet more accurately, we revisit a previous calculation for drift along it. While mathematically correct, we argue that the previous expression for neutral sheet drift, which follows naturally from the standard expression for gradient and curvature drift, must be adapted in order for the drift speed to be less than particle speed. We compare the effect of both the previous and the current more accurate version of neutral sheet drift on cosmic-ray modulation with results obtained by other methods.