Alfvén waves play three related roles in the impulsive phase of a solar flare: they transport energy from a generator region to an acceleration region; they map the cross-field potential (associated with the driven energy release) from the generator region onto the acceleration region; and within the acceleration region they damp by setting up a parallel electric field that accelerates electrons and transfers the wave energy to them. The Alfvén waves may also be regarded as setting up new closed current loops, with field-aligned currents that close across field lines at boundaries. A model is developed for large-amplitude Alfvén waves that shows how Alfvén waves play these roles in solar flares. A picket-fence structure for the current flow is incorporated into the model to account for the ``number problem'' and the energy of the accelerated electrons.
Authors: D.B. Melrose and M.S. Wheatland
Publication Status: Solar Physics: accepted 7 April 2013
Last Modified: 2013-04-07 11:05