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Plasma kinetic theory predicts that sufficiently anisotropic proton distribution will excite electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves, which in turn relax the proton distribution to a marginally stable state creating an upper bound on the relaxed proton anisotropy. Here, using EMIC wave observations and coincident plasma measurements made by Van Allen Probes in the inner magnetosphere, we show that the proton distributions are well constrained by this instability to a marginally stable state. Near the threshold, the probab ...
YEAR: 2019   DOI: 10.1029/2019GL082633