A computational and theoretical investigation of nonlinear wave-particle interactions in oblique whistlers

Most previous work on nonlinear wave-particle interactions between energetic electrons and VLF waves in the Earth\textquoterights magnetosphere has assumed parallel propagation, the underlying mechanism being nonlinear trapping of cyclotron resonant electrons in a parabolic magnetic field inhomogeneity. Here nonlinear wave-particle interaction in oblique whistlers in the Earth\textquoterights magnetosphere is investigated. The study is nonself-consistent and assumes an arbitrarily chosen wave field. We employ a \textquotedblleftcontinuous wave\textquotedblright wave field with constant frequency and amplitude, and a model for an individual VLF chorus element. We derive the equations of motion and trapping conditions in oblique whistlers. The resonant particle distribution function, resonant current, and nonlinear growth rate are computed as functions of position and time. For all resonances of order n, resonant electrons obey the trapping equation, and provided the wave amplitude is big enough for the prevailing obliquity, nonlinearity manifests itself by a \textquotedbllefthole\textquotedblright or \textquotedbllefthill\textquotedblright in distribution function, depending on the zero-order distribution function and on position. A key finding is that the n = 1 resonance is relatively unaffected by moderate obliquity up to 25\textdegree, but growth rates roll off rapidly at high obliquity. The n = 1 resonance saturates due to the adiabatic effect and here reaches a maximum growth at ~20 pT, 2000 km from the equator. Damping due to the n = 0 resonance is not subject to adiabatic effects and maximizes at some 8000 km from the equator at an obliquity ~55\textdegree.
Year of Publication
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Date Published