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Particle acceleration mechanisms in space plasmas
KTH, Superseded Departments, Alfvén Laboratory.
2001 (English)In: Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Part C: Solar, Terrestial & Planetary Science, ISSN 1464-1917, Vol. 26, no 03-jan, 55-59 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There are many possible mechanisms for particle acceleration in space plasmas. Among these are two broadly defined types that may be characterised on the one hand by large scale electric field structures and on the other hand by stochastic mechanisms and enhanced wave activity. Double layers (DLs) are an example of the first type. They sustain a net potential difference, across which particles are accelerated. Crucial questions concern the generator maintaining the potential, the rate of energy transfer, equilibrium and matching conditions. Magnetic reconnection at an X-type neutral line is another example and shares many characteristics with DLs, such as the cutting of field lines and constraints set by external MHD motions. Particle acceleration by the growth of the modified two- stream instability (MTSI) is an example of the second type. The MTSI is driven by cross magnetic field ion motion and rapidly accelerates electrons. It has been seen as a link in the critical ionisation velocity (CIV) mechanism, which has been extensively studied both in experiments and theory. Crucial questions concern the evolution of the particle energy distribution, the wave source and the saturation of the driving instability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 26, no 03-jan, 55-59 p.
Keyword [en]
field-line reconnection, magnetic reconnection, double-layers, physics
National Category
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-20305DOI: 10.1016/S1464-1917(00)00090-8ISI: 000166558400008OAI: diva2:338999
QC 20100525Available from: 2010-08-10 Created: 2010-08-10 Last updated: 2012-06-04Bibliographically approved

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Raadu, Michael A.
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Alfvén Laboratory
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