Journal Article: Analysis of the dependence of surfatron acceleration of electrons by an electromagnetic wave in space plasma on the particle momentum along the wave front

Title: Analysis of the dependence of surfatron acceleration of electrons by an electromagnetic wave in space plasma on the particle momentum along the wave front

Based on the numerical solution of the nonlinear nonstationary second-order equation for the wave phase on the particle trajectory, the dynamics of surfatron acceleration of electrons by an electromagnetic wave propagating across the external magnetic field in space plasma is analyzed as a function of the electron momentum along the wave front. Numerical calculations show that, for strongly relativistic initial values of the electron momentum component along the wave front g{sub y}(0) (the other parameters of the problem being the same), electrons are trapped into the regime of ultrarelativistic surfatron acceleration within a certain interval of the initial wave phase Ψ(0) on the particle trajectory. It is assumed in the calculations that vertical bar Ψ(0) vertical bar ≤ π. For strongly relativistic values of g{sub y}(0), electrons are immediately trapped by the wave for 19% of the initial values of the phase Ψ(0) (favorable phases). For the rest of the values of Ψ(0), trapping does not occur even at long times. This circumstance substantially simplifies estimations of the wave damping due to particle acceleration in subsequent calculations. The dynamics of the relativistic factor and the components of the electron velocity and momentum under surfatron acceleration is also analyzed. The obtainedmore » results are of interest for the development of modern concepts of possible mechanisms of generation of ultrarelativistic particle fluxes in relatively calm space plasma, as well as for correct interpretation of observational data on the fluxes of such particles and explanation of possible reasons for the deviation of ultrarelativistic particle spectra detected in the heliosphere from the standard power-law scalings and the relation of these variations to space weather and large-scale atmospheric processes similar to tropical cyclones.« less