Electron acceleration and parallel electric fields due to kinetic Alfvén waves in plasma with similar thermal and Alfvén speeds

Clare E. J. Watt, Robert Rankin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We investigate electron acceleration due to shear Alfven waves in a collissionless plasma for plasma parameters typical of 4?5RE radial distance from the Earth along auroral field lines. Recent observational work has motivated this study, which explores the plasma regime where the thermal velocity of the electrons is similar to the Alfven speed of the plasma, encouraging Landau resonance for electrons in the wave fields. We use a self-consistent kinetic simulation model to follow the evolution of the electrons as they interact with a short-duration wave pulse, which allows us to determine the parallel electric field of the shear Alfven wave due to both electron inertia and electron pressure effects. The simulation demonstrates that electrons can be accelerated to keV energies in a modest amplitude sub-second period wave. We compare the parallel electric field obtained from the simulation with those provided by fluid approximations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)964-969
Number of pages6
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Volume42
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Electron acceleration and parallel electric fields due to kinetic Alfvén waves in plasma with similar thermal and Alfvén speeds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this