Ion heating by strong electrostatic ion cyclotron turbulence

  • Lysak R
  • Hudson M
  • Temerin M
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A theory of the ion heating due to electrostatic ion cyclotron (EIC) waves in the auroral zone is presented. Due to the slowly convecting nature of the EIC mode, quasi-linear plateau formation cannot stabilize the waves, and growth occurs until the nonlinear mechanisms of ion resonance broadening and electron trapping provide saturation. The large amplitude and coherent nature of the resulting wave imply that quasi-linear theory provides only a lower limit to the ion heating. An upper bound on the heating rate is derived using a time-average model of ion dynamics in the coherent waves. The effects of ion heating in the presence of the magnetic gradient force and parallel electric fields are considered, with the result that perpendicular energies over 100 eV are easily attainable from a 1 eV source plasma. Perpendicular heating in the absence of a parallel electric field yields conical ion distributions, which in the presence of an electric field become field-aligned beams.

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  • R. L. Lysak

  • M. K. Hudson

  • M. Temerin

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