Electron scattering and nonlinear trapping by oblique whistler waves: The critical wave intensity for nonlinear effects

Abstract : In this paper, we consider high-energy electron scattering and nonlinear trapping by oblique whistler waves via the Landau resonance. We use recent spacecraft observations in the radiation belts to construct the whistler wave model. The main purpose of the paper is to provide an estimate of the critical wave amplitude for which the nonlinear wave-particle resonant interaction becomes more important than particle scattering. To this aim, we derive an analytical expression describing the particle scattering by large amplitude whistler waves and compare the corresponding effect with the nonlinear particle acceleration due to trapping. The latter is much more rare but the corresponding change of energy is substantially larger than energy jumps due to scattering. We show that for reasonable wave amplitudes ∼10–100 mV/m of strong whistlers, the nonlinear effects are more important than the linear and nonlinear scattering for electrons with energies ∼10–50 keV. We test the dependencies of the critical wave amplitude on system parameters (background plasma density, wave frequency, etc.). We discuss the role of obtained results for the theoretical description of the nonlinear wave amplification in radiation belts.
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A. V. Artemyev, A. A. Vasiliev, D. Mourenas, O. V. Agapitov, V. V. Krasnoselskikh. Electron scattering and nonlinear trapping by oblique whistler waves: The critical wave intensity for nonlinear effects. Physics of Plasmas, American Institute of Physics, 2014, 21 (10), 102903 - 10 p. ⟨10.1063/1.4897945⟩. ⟨insu-01171246⟩

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