Particle Orbits in Magnetospheric Current Sheets: Accelerated Flows, Neutral Line Signature, and Transitions to Chaos

  1. Gordon R. Wilson
  1. T. W. Speiser1,
  2. P.B. Dusenbery2,
  3. R.F. Martin Jr.3 and
  4. D.J. Williams4

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM062p0071

Modeling Magnetospheric Plasma Processes

Modeling Magnetospheric Plasma Processes

How to Cite

Speiser, T. W., Dusenbery, P.B., Martin, R.F. and Williams, D.J. (1991) Particle Orbits in Magnetospheric Current Sheets: Accelerated Flows, Neutral Line Signature, and Transitions to Chaos, in Modeling Magnetospheric Plasma Processes (ed G. R. Wilson), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM062p0071

Author Information

  1. 1

    APAS Dept., University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0391 and NOAA/SEL, Boulder, CO 80303

  2. 2

    Magnetospheric Physics Branch, National Science Foundation, Washington, DC 20550

  3. 3

    Physics Dept., Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61761-6901

  4. 4

    Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, MD 20723-6099

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1991

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900285

Online ISBN: 9781118663905

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Keywords:

  • Space plasmas—Mathematical models—Congresses;
  • Magnetosphere—Mathematical models—Congresses

Summary

Theory of particle motion in current sheets is reviewed. For small, approximately constant normal magnetic field, B z particles oscillate about the current sheet and “live” within the sheet for one-half gyroperiod based on B z. This lifetime replaces the mean collision time in the Lorentzian conductivity and thus gives rise to the concept of an inertial (or gyro-) conductivity. Asubstorm modelby Coroniti [1985] utilizes this conductivity to allow reconnection to proceed without anomalous processes due to wave-particle interactions. Chaotic particle orbitsmay at times be important to the dynamics, depending on parameters such as particle energy, current sheet thickness, and field line curvature. A current sheet model with neutral line predicts a ridge structure and asymmetries in the distribution function. Observed ion distributions near the plasmasheet boundary layer, during the CDAW 6 interval, are consistent with the model predictions.