Articles | Volume 21, issue 1
Research article
10 Jan 2014
Research article |  | 10 Jan 2014

Stochastic electron motion driven by space plasma waves

G. V. Khazanov, A. A. Tel’nikhin, and T. K. Kronberg

Abstract. Stochastic motion of relativistic electrons under conditions of the nonlinear resonance interaction of particles with space plasma waves is studied. Particular attention is given to the problem of the stability and variability of the Earth's radiation belts. It is found that the interaction between whistler-mode waves and radiation-belt electrons is likely to involve the same mechanism that is responsible for the dynamical balance between the accelerating process and relativistic electron precipitation events. We have also considered the efficiency of the mechanism of stochastic surfing acceleration of cosmic electrons at the supernova remnant shock front, and the accelerating process driven by a Langmuir wave packet in producing cosmic ray electrons. The dynamics of cosmic electrons is formulated in terms of a dissipative map involving the effect of synchrotron emission. We present analytical and numerical methods for studying Hamiltonian chaos and dissipative strange attractors, and for determining the heating extent and energy spectra.