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Physics of pitch angle scattering and velocity diffusion. I - TheoryA general theory for the pitch angle scattering and velocity diffusion of particles in the field of a spectrum of waves in a magnetized plasma is presented. The test particle theory is used to analyze the particle motion. The form of diffusion surfaces is examined, and analytical expressions are given for the resonance width and bounce frequency. The resonance widths are found to vary strongly as a function of harmonic number. The resulting diffusion can be quite asymmetric with respect to pitch angle of 90 deg. The conditions for the onset of pitch angle scattering and energy diffusion are explained in detail. Some of the known shortcomings of the standard quasi-linear theory are also addressed, and ways to overcome them are shown. In particular, the often stated quasi-linear gap at 90 deg is found to exist only under very special cases. For instance, oblique wave propagation can easily remove the gap. The conditions for the existence of the gap are described in great detail. A new diffusion equation which takes into account the finite resonance widths is also discussed. The differences between this new theory and the standard resonance broadening theory is explained.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Karimabadi, H. (NASA Headquarters Washington, DC United States)
Krauss-Varban, D. (NASA Headquarters Washington, DC United States)
Terasawa, T. (California, University San Diego, United States)
Date Acquired
August 15, 2013
Publication Date
September 1, 1992
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume: 97
Issue: A9 S
ISSN: 0148-0227
Subject Category
Funding Number(s)
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