Probability of relativistic electron trapping by parallel and oblique whistler-mode waves in Earth's radiation belts
2016-01-04T12:38:55Z (GMT) by
We investigate electron trapping by high-amplitude whistler-mode waves propagating at small as well as large angles relative to geomagnetic field lines. The inhomogeneity of the background magnetic field can result in an effective acceleration of trapped particles. Here, we derive useful analytical expressions for the probability of electron trapping by both parallel and oblique waves, paving the way for a full analytical description of trapping effects on the particle distribution. Numerical integrations of particle trajectories allow to demonstrate the accuracy of the derived analytical estimates. For realistic wave amplitudes, the levels of probabilities of trapping are generally comparable for oblique and parallel waves, but they turn out to be most efficient over complementary energy ranges. Trapping acceleration of <100 keV electrons is mainly provided by oblique waves, while parallel waves are responsible for the trapping acceleration of >100 keV electrons.