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Thermal electron acceleration by electric field spikes in the outer radiation belt: Generation of field-aligned pitch angle distributions

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 ...

. Y. Vasko, I; Agapitov, O.; Mozer, F.; Artemyev, A.;

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021644

double layers; Fermi mechanism; field-aligned pitch angle distributions; outer radiation belt; thermal electron acceleration; Van Allen Probes