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Regular version of the site

Article

Adiabatic Heating of Electrons in the Magnetospheric Current Sheet

Plasma Physics Reports. 2018. Vol. 44. No. 6. P. 559-567.
Lukin A. S., Yushkov E. V., Artemyev A. V., Petrukovich A. A.

Electron dynamics and acceleration in an electromagnetic field configuration modeling the current sheet configuration of the Earth’s magnetotail region is investigated. A focus is made on the role of the dawn−dusk magnetic field component By in the convection electron heating by an electric field Ey. For numerical integration of a large number of test particle trajectories over long time intervals, the equations of motion written in the guiding center approximation are used. It is shown that the presence of a By ≠ 0 magnetic field significantly changes the electron heating and allows electrons with small pitch angles to gain energy much more efficiently than the equatorial electrons. As a result, the convection heating in the current sheet with By ≠ 0 leads to the formation of an accelerated anisotropic population of particles with energies higher than a few hundred electronvolts. The obtained results and spacecraft observations in the Earth’s magnetotail are compared, and possible limitations in the proposed model approaches are discussed.