Magnetic field turbulence, electron heating, magnetic holes, proton cyclotron waves, and the onsets of bipolar pulse (electron hole) events: a possible unifying scenario
- 1Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
- 2Indian Institute of Geomagnetism, Mumbai/Bombay 400 005, India
- 3Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA
Abstract. Two electron heating events have been identified on 20 May 1996 when Polar was in the polar cap/polar cusp boundary layer. The electron heating events were located within magnetic holes/cavities/bubbles and were accompanied by nonlinear ± 14 nT peak-to-peak (f ~ 0.6 to 0.7 fcp) obliquely propagating proton cyclotron waves. The electrons appear to be heated isotropically. Electric bipolar pulse (electron hole) onset events were also detected within the heating events. We propose a scenario which can link the above phenomena. Nonlinear Alfvén waves, generated through cusp magnetic reconnection, propagate down magnetic field lines and locally heat electrons through the ponderomotive force. The magnetic cavity is created through the diamagnetic effect of the heated electrons. Ion heating also occurs through ponderomotive acceleration (but much less than the electrons) and the protons generate the electromagnetic proton cyclotron waves through the loss cone instability. The obliquely propagating electromagnetic proton cyclotron waves accelerate bi-streaming electrons, which are the source of free energy for the electron holes.