Nonlinear Wave‐Particle Interaction: Implications for Newborn Planetary and Backstreaming Proton Velocity Distribution Functions

Abstract : Seen from the solar wind (SW) reference frame, the presence of newborn planetary protons upstream from the Martian and Venusian bow shocks and SW protons reflected from each of them constitute two sources of non-thermal proton populations. In both cases, the resulting proton velocity distribution function is highly unstable and capable of giving rise to ultra-low frequency quasi-monochromatic electromagnetic plasma waves. When these instabilities take place, the resulting non-linear waves are convected by the SW and interact with non-thermal protons located downstream from the wave generation region (upstream from the bow shock), playing a predominant role in their dynamics. To improve our understanding of these phenomena, we study the interaction between a charged particle and a large amplitude monochromatic circularly-polarized electromagnetic wave propagating parallel to a background magnetic field, from first principles. We determine the number of fix points in velocity space, their stability and their dependence on different wave-particle parameters. Particularly, we determine the temporal evolution of a charged particle in the pitch angle-gyrophase velocity plane under nominal conditions expected for backstreaming protons in planetary foreshocks and for newborn planetary protons in the upstream regions of Venus and Mars. In addition, the inclusion of wave ellipticity effects provides an explanation for pitch-angle distributions of supra-thermal protons observed at the Earth's foreshock, reported in previous studies. These analyses constitute a mean to evaluate if non-thermal proton velocity distribution functions observed at these plasma environments present signatures that can be understood in terms of non-linear wave-particle processes.
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Norberto Romanelli, Christian Mazelle, K. Meziane. Nonlinear Wave‐Particle Interaction: Implications for Newborn Planetary and Backstreaming Proton Velocity Distribution Functions . Journal of Geophysical Research Space Physics, American Geophysical Union/Wiley, 2018, 123 (2), pp.1100-1117. ⟨10.1002/2017JA024691⟩. ⟨insu-01688364⟩

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