Ion Acceleration by Wave-Particle Interaction

  1. Tom Chang,
  2. M. K. Hudson,
  3. J. R. Jasperse,
  4. R. G. Johnson,
  5. P. M. Kintner and
  6. M. Schulz
  1. Robert L. Lysak

Published Online: 21 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM038p0261

Ion Acceleration in the Magnetosphere and Ionosphere

Ion Acceleration in the Magnetosphere and Ionosphere

How to Cite

Lysak, R. L. (1986) Ion Acceleration by Wave-Particle Interaction, in Ion Acceleration in the Magnetosphere and Ionosphere (eds T. Chang, M. K. Hudson, J. R. Jasperse, R. G. Johnson, P. M. Kintner and M. Schulz), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM038p0261

Author Information

  1. School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1986

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900636

Online ISBN: 9781118664216



  • Magnetosphere—Congresses;
  • Ionosphere—Congresses;
  • Ion flow dynamics—Congresses;
  • Space plasmas—Congresses


Ions in the auroral zone are observed to have pitch angle distributions peaked at large angles to the magnetic field. The most likely energization mechanism for such ions is an interaction between the ions and waves at the ion gyroresonance. This paper will review the theory of perpendicular ion heating by waves, considering electrostatic ion cyclotron waves, as well as waves on the whistler resonance cone. When the wave amplitudes are weak and the spectrum broad banded, the quasi-linear theory can predict the magnitude of heating, if the wave spectrum and distribution in space are known. For large amplitude, narrow-banded waves, stochastic heating mechanisms can rapidly accelerate ions transverse to the magnetic field. These theoretical models can be compared with results found in plasma simulations as well as with observations in space. In particular, the relative heating of different ion species will be considered and compared with observations in the auroral zone.