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Upper limit of electron fluxes generated by kinetic Alfvén waves in Maxwellian plasma

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  • We consider electron acceleration by kinetic Alfvén waves in the equatorial inner magnetosphere and plasma sheet boundary layer. The competition between the accelerating effect of the wave parallel electric field and mirror force acting on particles in an inhomogeneous background magnetic field generates an effective potential well where electrons can be trapped and accelerated. We compare energy variations of trapped and transient resonant electrons and show that these variations almost compensate each other. Thus, energy provided to waves by transient particles is transferred to trapped particles. This effect allows waves accelerate trapped electrons without being significantly damped. Using energy balance equations, we estimate the maximum flux of electrons accelerated via trapping into Landau resonance with kinetic Alfvén waves. For a wide range of system parameters (i.e., ion to electron temperature ratio, magnetic field amplitude, and wave number and wave frequency), acceleration of trapped electrons can generate fluxes with amplitude about 5–25% of the background thermal fluxes. We determine parametric regions for the most efficient acceleration.

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    Article (Published)
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    © 2016 American Geophysical Union. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Artemyev, Anton V., Rankin, Robert, & Vasko, Ivan Y. (2016). Upper limit of electron fluxes generated by kinetic Alfvén waves in Maxwellian plasma. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 121(9), 8361-8373.
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