Articles | Volume 17, issue 5
Research article
26 Oct 2010
Research article |  | 26 Oct 2010

Nonlinear interactions between relativistic radiation belt electrons and oblique whistler mode waves

X. Tao and J. Bortnik

Abstract. Resonant interactions between relativistic charged particles and oblique whistler mode waves are explored in this work, and it is shown that nonlinear phase trapping could happen in a gyrophase averaged sense, consistent with previous studies of interactions between nonrelativistic electrons and oblique whistler mode waves. A dimensionless parameter χ is derived to represent the ratio of wave-induced motion to the adiabatic motion of the particle. We show that phase trapping is likely to occur when the wave-induced motion dominates the adiabatic motion, which is caused mainly by the background fields. A mapping of probable regions of nonlinear interactions is shown based on the parameter χ. We show that the nonlinear interactions might be important near the equatorial plane for even moderate wave amplitude, and the latitudinal range for nonlinear interactions to occur is largest for electrons with local pitch angles around 50 degrees, consistent with previous findings. The results are important for understanding the nonlinear dynamics of relativistic radiation belt electrons and the generation of chorus waves.