Electron acceleration during three-dimensional relaxation of an electron beam-return current plasma system in a magnetic field

Karlický, M. and Kontar, E.P. (2012) Electron acceleration during three-dimensional relaxation of an electron beam-return current plasma system in a magnetic field. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 544, A148. (doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201219400)

Karlický, M. and Kontar, E.P. (2012) Electron acceleration during three-dimensional relaxation of an electron beam-return current plasma system in a magnetic field. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 544, A148. (doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201219400)

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Abstract

Aims. We investigate the effects of acceleration during non-linear electron-beam relaxation in magnetized plasma in the case of electron transport in solar flares.<p></p> Methods. The evolution of electron distribution functions is computed using a three-dimensional particle-in-cell electromagnetic code. Analytical estimations under simplified assumptions are made to provide comparisons.<p></p> Results. We show that, during the non-linear evolution of the beam-plasma system, the accelerated electron population appears. We found that, although the electron beam loses its energy efficiently to the thermal plasma, a noticeable part of the electron population is accelerated. For model cases with initially monoenergetic beams in uniform plasma, we found that the amount of energy in the accelerated electrons above the injected beam-electron energy varies depending the plasma conditions and could be around 10–30% of the initial beam energy.<p></p> Conclusions. This type of acceleration could be important for the interpretation of non-thermal electron populations in solar flares. Its neglect could lead to the over-estimation of accelerated electron numbers. The results emphasize that collective plasma effects should not be treated simply as an additional energy-loss mechanism, when hard X-ray emission in solar flares is interpreted, notably in the case of RHESSI data.<p></p>

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kontar, Dr Eduard
Authors: Karlický, M., and Kontar, E.P.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Astronomy and Astrophysics
Publisher:EDP Sciences
ISSN:0004-6361
ISSN (Online):1432-0746
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