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The role of diffusion in the transport of energetic electrons during solar flares View all abstracts by submitter

Eduard Kontar   Submitted: 2017-01-04 14:08

The transport of the energy contained in suprathermal electrons in solar flares plays a key role in our understanding of many aspects of flare physics, from the spatial distributions of hard X-ray emission and energy deposition in the ambient atmosphere to global energetics. Historically the transport of these particles has been largely treated through a deterministic approach, in which first-order secular energy loss to electrons in the ambient target is treated as the dominant effect, with second-order diffusive terms (in both energy and angle) being generally either treated as a small correction or even neglected. We here critically analyze this approach, and we show that spatial diffusion through pitch-angle scattering necessarily plays a very significant role in the transport of electrons. We further show that a satisfactory treatment of the diffusion process requires consideration of non-local effects, so that the electron flux depends not just on the local gradient of the electron distribution function but on the value of this gradient within an extended region encompassing a significant fraction of a mean free path. Our analysis applies generally to pitch-angle scattering by a variety of mechanisms, from Coulomb collisions to turbulent scattering. We further show that the spatial transport of electrons along the magnetic field of a flaring loop can be modeled rather effectively as a Continuous Time Random Walk with velocity-dependent probability distribution functions of jump sizes and occurrences, both of which can be expressed in terms of the scattering mean free path.

Authors: Bian, Nicolas H., Emslie, A. Gordon, and Kontar, Eduard P.
Projects: RHESSI

Publication Status: Accepted to ApJ
Last Modified: 2017-01-11 12:09
Go to main E-Print page  Global Energetics of Solar Flares and CMEs: V. Energy Closure  Imaging Observations of Magnetic Reconnection in a Solar Eruptive Flare  Edit Entry  Download Preprint  Submitter's Homepage Delete Entry 

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