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Particle-in-cell experiments examine electron diffusion by whistler-mode waves: 1. Benchmarking with a cold plasma

Allanson, O., Watt, C., Ratcliffe, H., Meredith, N., Allison, H., Bentley, S., Bloch, T. and Glauert, S. (2019) Particle-in-cell experiments examine electron diffusion by whistler-mode waves: 1. Benchmarking with a cold plasma. Journal of Geophysical Research - Space Physics. ISSN 0148-0227 (In Press)

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Abstract/Summary

Using a particle-in-cell code, we study the diffusive response of electrons due to wave particle interactions with whistler-mode waves. The relatively simple configuration of field-aligned waves in a cold plasma is used in order to benchmark our novel method, and to compare with previous works that used a different modelling technique. In this boundary-value problem, incoherent whistler-mode waves are excited at the domain boundary, and then propagate through the ambient plasma. Electron diffusion characteristics are directly extracted from particle data across all available energy and pitch-angle space. The ‘nature’ of the diffusive response is itself a function of energy and pitch-angle, such that the rate of diffusion is not always constant in time. However, after an initial transient phase, the rate of diffusion tends to a constant, in a manner that is consistent with the assumptions of quasilinear diffusion theory. This work establishes a framework for future investigations on the nature of diffusion due to whistler-mode wave-particle interactions, using particle-in-cell numerical codes with driven waves as boundary value problems.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:86158
Publisher:American Geophysical Union

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