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Title: Particle-in-cell simulations of velocity scattering of an anisotropic electron beam by electrostatic and electromagnetic instabilities

The velocity space scattering of an anisotropic electron beam (T{sub ⊥b}/T{sub ∥b}>1) flowing along a background magnetic field B{sub 0} through a cold plasma is investigated using both linear theory and 2D particle-in-cell simulations. Here, ⊥ and ∥ represent the directions perpendicular and parallel to B{sub 0}, respectively. In this scenario, we find that two primary instabilities contribute to the scattering in electron pitch angle: an electrostatic electron beam instability and a predominantly parallel-propagating electromagnetic whistler anisotropy instability. Our results show that at relative beam densities n{sub b}/n{sub e}≤0.05 and beam temperature anisotropies T{sub b⊥}/T{sub b∥}≤25, the electrostatic beam instability grows much faster than the whistler instabilities for a reasonably fast hot beam. The enhanced fluctuating fields from the beam instability scatter the beam electrons, slowing their average speed and increasing their parallel temperature, thereby increasing their pitch angles. In an inhomogeneous magnetic field, such as the geomagnetic field, this could result in beam electrons scattered out of the loss cone. After saturation of the electrostatic instability, the parallel-propagating whistler anisotropy instability shows appreciable growth, provided that the beam density and late-time anisotropy are sufficiently large. Although the whistler anisotropy instability acts to pitch-angle scatter the electrons, reducing perpendicular energymore » in favor of parallel energy, these changes are weak compared to the pitch-angle increases resulting from the deceleration of the beam due to the electrostatic instability.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545 (United States)
  2. Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama 36849 (United States)
  3. Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colorado 80301 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22253286
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 4; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; 58 GEOSCIENCES; ANISOTROPY; COLD PLASMA; ELECTRON BEAMS; GEOMAGNETIC FIELD; SCATTERING; SIMULATION; WHISTLER INSTABILITY