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Title: On the Role of Whistler‐Mode Waves in Electron Interaction With Dipolarizing Flux Bundles

The magnetotail is the main source of energetic electrons for Earth’s inner magnetosphere. Electrons are adiabatically heated during flow bursts (rapid earthward motion of the plasma) within dipolarizing flux bundles (concurrent increases and dipolarizations of the magnetic field). The electron heating is evidenced near or within dipolarizing flux bundles as rapid increases in the energetic electron flux (10–100 keV); it is often referred to as injection. The anisotropy in the injected electron distributions, which is often perpendicular to the magnetic field, generates whistler‐mode waves, also commonly observed around such dipolarizing flux bundles. Test‐particle simulations reproduce several features of injections and electron adiabatic dynamics. However, the feedback of the waves on the electron distributions has been not incorporated into such simulations. This is because it has been unclear, thus far, whether incorporating such feedback is necessary to explain the evolution of the electron pitch‐angle and energy distributions from their origin, reconnection ejecta in the mid‐tail region, to their final destination, and the electron injection sites in the inner magnetosphere. Using an analytical model we demonstrate that wave feedback is indeed important for the evolution of electron distributions. Combining canonical guiding center theory and the mapping technique we model electron adiabatic heating and scattering by whistler‐mode waves around a dipolarizing flux bundle. Comparison with spacecraft observations allows us to validate the efficacy of the proposed methodology. Specifically, we demonstrate that electron resonant interactions with whistler‐mode waves can indeed change markedly the pitch‐angle distribution of energetic electrons at the injection site and are thus critical to incorporate in order to explain the observations. We discuss the importance of such resonant interactions for injection physics and for magnetosphere‐ionosphere coupling.

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Award ID(s):
1914594 2019914
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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