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Developing mathematical theories of the physical world: Open Access research on fluid dynamics from Strathclyde

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Auroral particle acceleration by waves

Bingham, R. and Cairns, R.A. and Dendy, R.O. and Shapiro, V.D. and Shukla, P.K. and Stenflo, L. (2001) Auroral particle acceleration by waves. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Part C: Solar, Terrestrial & Planetary Science, 26 (1-3). pp. 133-144.

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The role of waves in accelerating both electrons and ions in the auroral zone is discussed. Various wave generation mechanisms and acceleration processes including acceleration within cavitons and nonlinear potential structures are analysed. The wave modes which we consider include waves such as kinetic Alfvén waves, and lower-hybrid waves. In some cases wave amplitudes are found to be large enough for strong turbulence effect to play a significant role in the particle dynamics. These effects manifest themselves in the formation of caviton structures and large scale density striations creating local acceleration regions. A theoretical description of the different nonlinear processes responsible for plasma modification and acceleration will be presented.