Acceleration and particle transport in collisionless plasma in the process of dipolarization and nonstationary turbulence
This work is devoted to studying the processes of the acceleration of plasma particles in thin current sheets that appear during magnetospheric substorms in the Earth’s magnetosphere tail. A numerical model of magnetic dipolarization accompanied by plasma turbulence has been constructed and studied. The model allows one to investigate the particle acceleration due to the action of three principal mechanisms: (1) plasma turbulence; (2) magnetic dipolarization; (3) their simultaneous action. For the given velocity kappa-distributions, we obtained energy spectra of three types of accelerated particles, i.e., protons p+, ions of oxygen O+, and electrons e–. It has been shown that the combined mechanism of dipolarization with turbulence (3) makes the largest contribution to the increase in the energy of protons and heavy ions as compared with a separate action of each of mechanisms (1) and (2); in this case, electrons accelerate less. The consideration of the joint action of acceleration mechanisms (1) and (2) can explain the apparition of particles with energies on the order of magnitude equal to hundreds keV in the Earth’s magnetosphere tail.