Diagnosis of ULF Wave-Particle Interactions With Megaelectron Volt Electrons: The Importance of Ultrahigh-Resolution Energy Channels
Electron flux measurements are an important diagnostic for interactions between ultralow-frequency (ULF) waves and relativistic (\~1 MeV) electrons. Since measurements are collected by particle detectors with finite energy channel width, they are affected by a phase mixing process that can obscure these interactions. We demonstrate that ultrahigh-resolution electron measurements from the Magnetic Electron Ion Spectrometer on the Van Allen Probes mission\textemdashobtained using a data product that improves the energy resolution by roughly an order of magnitude\textemdashare crucial for understanding ULF wave-particle interactions. In particular, the ultrahigh-resolution measurements reveal a range of complex dynamics that cannot be resolved by standard measurements. Furthermore, the standard measurements provide estimates for the ULF flux modulation amplitude, period, and phase that may not be representative of true flux modulations, potentially leading to ambiguous conclusions concerning electron dynamics.
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Geophysical Research Letters