On the threshold energization of radiation belt electrons by double layers
Using a Hamiltonian approach, we quantify the energization threshold of electrons interacting with radiation belts\textquoteright double layers discovered by Mozer et al. (2013). We find that double layers with electric field amplitude E0 ranging between 10 and 100 mV/m and spatial scales of the order of few Debye lengths are very efficient in energizing electrons with initial velocities v|| <= vth to 1 keV levels but are unable to energize electrons with E >= 100 keV. Our results indicate that the localized electric field associated with the double layers are unlikely to generate a seed population of 100 keV necessary for a plethora of relativistic acceleration mechanisms and additional transport to higher energetic levels.
|Year of Publication||
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics