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2015
Authors: Vasko I. Y., Agapitov O. V., Mozer F S, and Artemyev A. V.
Title: Thermal electron acceleration by electric field spikes in the outer radiation belt: Generation of field-aligned pitch angle distributions
Abstract: Van Allen Probes observations in the outer radiation belt have demonstrated an abundance of electrostatic electron-acoustic double layers (DL). DLs are frequently accompanied by field-aligned (bidirectional) pitch angle distributions (PAD) of electrons with energies from hundred eVs up to several keV. We perform numerical simulations of the DL interaction with thermal electrons making use of the test particle approach. DL parameters assumed in the simulations are adopted from observations. We show that DLs accelerate thermal electrons parallel to the magnetic field via the electrostatic Fermi mechanism, i.e., due to reflections from DL potential humps. The electron energy gain is larger for larger DL scalar potential amplitudes and higher propagation velocities. In addition to the Fermi me. . .
Date: 10/2015 Publisher: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021644 Available at: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/2015JA021644http://api.wiley.com/onlinelibrary/tdm/v1/articles/10.1002%2F2015JA021644
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