PIC simulations of Whistler Wave Generation and Electron Scattering Initialized by Plasma Conditions from the RAM-SCB Model

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 9:18 AM
Yiqun Yu1, Gian Luca Delzanno1, Vania Jordanova1, Lei Zhao2, Bo Peng3 and Stefano Markidis3, (1)Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, United States, (2)Los Alamos National Lab, Los Alamos, NM, United States, (3)KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
Wave-particle interactions play an important role in influencing the Earth´s inner magnetosphere dynamics. We study the whistler wave generation with an implicit particle-in-cell code (iPIC3D) within unstable equatorial regions identified by the kinetic ring current model RAM-SCB. During storm time, RAM-SCB shows that hot electrons on the dayside demonstrate high temperature anisotropy, implying that it is unstable to whistler wave excitation. By using plasma parameters from RAM-SCB results, we carry out iPIC3D simulations assuming a bi-Maxwellian distribution for electrons. We found that with an electron temperature anisotropy of 4, electron density of 6 cm−3 , and parallel temperature T|| of 1keV on the dayside around L of 5.5, whistler waves are rapidly excited and propagate along the background magnetic field line. Comparisons with linear theory show good agreements on the wave mode and frequency at which the whistler waves are excited, as well as on the linear growth rate of the maximum wave mode. The electron velocity distribution is significantly changed after the wave generation, towards a smaller anisotropy due to the pitch-angle scattering transport process. Furthermore, test particles are tracked in the whistler wave environment developed during the linear growth phase (with an amplitude of 0.05 B0) to examine the pitch angle diffusion. The diffusion coefficient is calculated and found to be one to two orders of magnitude smaller than the quasi-linear theory, which implies that the quasi-linear theory may predict a much faster loss of the radiation belts. In addition, in contrast to the quasi-linear theory that shows monotonic dependence on the electron pitch angle, the coefficient calculated from iPIC simulations are rather insensitive to the pitch angle.