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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

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Generation of auroral kilometric radiation by electron horseshoe distributions

Bingham, R. and Cairns, R. A. (2000) Generation of auroral kilometric radiation by electron horseshoe distributions. Physics of Plasmas, 7 (7). pp. 3089-3092. ISSN 1070-664X

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High time resolution of rocket and satellite electron distribution functions within the source region of auroral kilometric radiation display a characteristic crescent shaped or horseshoe distribution. Such distribution functions are created by a field aligned electron beam moving into an increasing magnetic field, conservation of the first adiabatic invariant causes an increase of their pitch angle. This produces a broad region on the distribution function where ∂fe/∂v⊥>0, and is a possible source of free energy leading to radio wave emission by the cyclotron maser instability, which is more efficient than the conventional loss-cone maser instability. The stability of these electron horseshoe distribution functions is examined for right-hand extraordinary mode (R–X mode) radiation close to the electron cyclotron frequency propagating perpendicular to the magnetic field.