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Title: Coronal electron confinement by double layers

In observations of flare-heated electrons in the solar corona, a longstanding problem is the unexplained prolonged lifetime of the electrons compared to their transit time across the source. This suggests confinement. Recent particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations, which explored the transport of pre-accelerated hot electrons through ambient cold plasma, showed that the formation of a highly localized electrostatic potential drop, in the form of a double layer (DL), significantly inhibited the transport of hot electrons. The effectiveness of confinement by a DL is linked to the strength of the DL as defined by its potential drop. In this work, we investigate the scaling of the DL strength with the hot electron temperature by PIC simulations and find a linear scaling. We demonstrate that the strength is limited by the formation of parallel shocks. Based on this, we analytically determine the maximum DL strength, and also find a linear scaling with the hot electron temperature. The DL strength obtained from the analytic calculation is comparable to that from the simulations. At the maximum strength, the DL is capable of confining a significant fraction of hot electrons in the source.
Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22341936
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 778; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; COLD PLASMA; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; CONFINEMENT; ELECTRON TEMPERATURE; ELECTRONS; EMISSION; LIFETIME; PARTICLES; SCALING; SIMULATION; SOLAR CORONA; SUN