Nonlinear electron acceleration by oblique whistler waves: Landau resonance vs. cyclotron resonance

Abstract : This paper is devoted to the study of the nonlinear interaction of relativistic electrons and high amplitude strongly oblique whistler waves in the Earth’s radiation belts. We consider electron trapping into Landau and fundamental cyclotron resonances in a simplified model of dipolar magnetic field. Trapping into the Landau resonance corresponds to a decrease of electron equatorial pitch-angles, while trapping into the first cyclotron resonance increases electron equatorial pitch-angles. For 100 keV electrons, the energy gained due to trapping is similar for both resonances. For electrons with smaller energy, acceleration is more effective when considering the Landau resonance. Moreover, trapping into the Landau resonance is accessible for a wider range of initial pitch-angles and initial energies in comparison with the fundamental resonance. Thus, we can conclude that for intense and strongly oblique waves propagating in the quasi-electrostatic mode, the Landau resonance is generally more important than the fundamental one.
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A.V. Artemyev, A.A. Vasiliev, Didier Mourenas, O. V. Agapitov, V. V. Krasnoselskikh. Nonlinear electron acceleration by oblique whistler waves: Landau resonance vs. cyclotron resonance. Physics of Plasmas, American Institute of Physics, 2013, 20 (12), pp.122901. ⟨10.1063/1.4836595⟩. ⟨insu-01256149⟩

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