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Effects of time-dependent electric fields on geomagnetically trapped radiation.

AuthorFalthammar, C.-G;
KeywordsRadial Transport
AbstractLarge-scale electric potential fields in the magnetosphere are generally invoked in theories of the aurora. It is shown in the present article that irregular fluctuations of such fields cause a random radial motion of trapped energetic particles by violating the third adiabatic invariant. When the first and second invariants are conserved, any radial motion of the particles is associated with a corresponding energy change. Some particles move outward and others inward; but, if there is a source in the outer magnetosphere and a sink farther in, there will be a net inward transport and an associated net energy gain. This mechanism supplements that of particle transport by magnetic disturbances, which has already been discussed in the literature. The transport and acceleration of energetic particles by fluctuating electric potential fields have a formal similarity to the so-called stochastic mode of acceleration in synchrocyclotrons. In the magnetosphere, the rate of displacement of trapped particles is found to depend on the spectral power density of the fluctuating electric fields at the azimuthal drift frequency and its harmonics. Which of these frequencies is most important depends on the spatial structure of the fluctuations. The observational data needed for numerical evaluation of the rate of transport are still lacking, but the formulas derived serve the purpose of indicating what properties of the fields are important and ought to be measured experimentally. The effects of magnetic time variations, which have been discussed in the literature under special assumptions, are considered in a more general way. A first-order result is given, which applies not only to initial phases of magnetic storms but also to other types of magnetic time variations.
Year of Publication1965
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Number of Pages2503\textendash2516
Date Published06/1965