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Title: Ultra-low-frequency wave-driven diffusion of radiation belt relativistic electrons

Abstract

The Van Allen radiation belts are typically two zones of energetic particles encircling the Earth separated by the slot region. How the outer radiation belt electrons are accelerated to relativistic energies remains an unanswered question. Recent studies have presented compelling evidence for the local acceleration by very-low-frequency (VLF) chorus waves. However, there has been a competing theory to the local acceleration, radial diffusion by ultra-low-frequency (ULF) waves, whose importance has not yet been determined definitively. Here we report a unique radiation belt event with intense ULF waves but no detectable VLF chorus waves. So, our results demonstrate that the ULF waves moved the inner edge of the outer radiation belt earthward 0.3 Earth radii and enhanced the relativistic electron fluxes by up to one order of magnitude near the slot region within about 10 h, providing strong evidence for the radial diffusion of radiation belt relativistic electrons.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [3];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [3];  [1];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [7];  [8];  [9]
  1. Univ. of Science and Technology of China, Hefei (China)
  2. Changsha Univ. of Science and Technology (China)
  3. Peking Univ., Beijing (China)
  4. Harbin Inst. of Technology (China). Shenzhen Graduate School
  5. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
  6. Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, NH (United States)
  7. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  8. Aerospace Corporation, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
  9. Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1236062
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-15-28804
Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723; ncomms10096
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; physical sciences; astronomy

Citation Formats

Su, Zhenpeng, Zhu, Hui, Xiao, Fuliang, Zong, Q. -G., Zhou, X. -Z., Zheng, Huinan, Wang, Yuming, Wang, Shui, Hao, Y. -X., Gao, Zhonglei, He, Zhaoguo, Baker, D. N., Spence, H. E., Reeves, G. D., Blake, J. B., and Wygant, J. R. Ultra-low-frequency wave-driven diffusion of radiation belt relativistic electrons. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1038/ncomms10096.
Su, Zhenpeng, Zhu, Hui, Xiao, Fuliang, Zong, Q. -G., Zhou, X. -Z., Zheng, Huinan, Wang, Yuming, Wang, Shui, Hao, Y. -X., Gao, Zhonglei, He, Zhaoguo, Baker, D. N., Spence, H. E., Reeves, G. D., Blake, J. B., & Wygant, J. R. Ultra-low-frequency wave-driven diffusion of radiation belt relativistic electrons. United States. doi:10.1038/ncomms10096.
Su, Zhenpeng, Zhu, Hui, Xiao, Fuliang, Zong, Q. -G., Zhou, X. -Z., Zheng, Huinan, Wang, Yuming, Wang, Shui, Hao, Y. -X., Gao, Zhonglei, He, Zhaoguo, Baker, D. N., Spence, H. E., Reeves, G. D., Blake, J. B., and Wygant, J. R. Tue . "Ultra-low-frequency wave-driven diffusion of radiation belt relativistic electrons". United States. doi:10.1038/ncomms10096. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1236062.
@article{osti_1236062,
title = {Ultra-low-frequency wave-driven diffusion of radiation belt relativistic electrons},
author = {Su, Zhenpeng and Zhu, Hui and Xiao, Fuliang and Zong, Q. -G. and Zhou, X. -Z. and Zheng, Huinan and Wang, Yuming and Wang, Shui and Hao, Y. -X. and Gao, Zhonglei and He, Zhaoguo and Baker, D. N. and Spence, H. E. and Reeves, G. D. and Blake, J. B. and Wygant, J. R.},
abstractNote = {The Van Allen radiation belts are typically two zones of energetic particles encircling the Earth separated by the slot region. How the outer radiation belt electrons are accelerated to relativistic energies remains an unanswered question. Recent studies have presented compelling evidence for the local acceleration by very-low-frequency (VLF) chorus waves. However, there has been a competing theory to the local acceleration, radial diffusion by ultra-low-frequency (ULF) waves, whose importance has not yet been determined definitively. Here we report a unique radiation belt event with intense ULF waves but no detectable VLF chorus waves. So, our results demonstrate that the ULF waves moved the inner edge of the outer radiation belt earthward 0.3 Earth radii and enhanced the relativistic electron fluxes by up to one order of magnitude near the slot region within about 10 h, providing strong evidence for the radial diffusion of radiation belt relativistic electrons.},
doi = {10.1038/ncomms10096},
journal = {Nature Communications},
issn = {2041-1723},
number = ,
volume = 6,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {12}
}

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