Physics Department Seminar University of Alaska Fairbanks

J O U R N A L    C L U B

Particle-code simulation of auroral electron
acceleration by inertial Alfvén waves
Dan Swift
Geophysical Institute, UAF

One of the most obvious features of the aurora is the fine-scale structure in directions perpendicular to the magnetic field. Alfvén waves provide a mechanism for accelerating electrons parallel to the magnetic field when the perpendicular wavelength becomes comparable to the electron inertial length. This talk presents results from a two-dimensional particle code used to simulate the propagation of inertial Alfvén waves and acceleration of electrons down auroral field lines. The simulation domain is 20,000 km parallel to the magnetic field and some tens of km perpendicular to the field. The strongest interactions between the electrons and the Alfvén wave occurs in the 3000- to 7000-km altitude range. A fraction of the electrons were accelerated to 1.5 keV.

Friday, 8 September 2006
Globe Room, Elvey Building
3:45 PM