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Spectral properties and associated plasma energization by magnetosonic waves in the Earth's magnetosphere: Particle-in-cell simulations


Sun, Jicheng
Gao, Xinliang
Lu, Quanming
Chen, Lunjin
Liu, Xu
Wang, Xueyi
Tao, Xin
Wang, Shui


In this paper, we perform a 1-D particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation model consisting of three species, cold electrons, cold ions, and energetic ion ring, to investigate spectral structures of magnetosonic waves excited by ring distribution protons in the Earth's magnetosphere, and dynamics of charged particles during the excitation of magnetosonic waves. As the wave normal angle decreases, the spectral range of excited magnetosonic waves becomes broader with upper frequency limit extending beyond the lower hybrid resonant frequency, and the discrete spectra tends to merge into a continuous one. This dependence on wave normal angle is consistent with the linear theory. The effects of magnetosonic waves on the background cold plasma populations also vary with wave normal angle. For exactly perpendicular magnetosonic waves (parallel wave number k(parallel to) = 0), there is no energization in the parallel direction for both background cold protons and electrons due to the negligible fluctuating electric field component in the parallel direction. In contrast, the perpendicular energization of background plasmas is rather significant, where cold protons follow unmagnetized motion while cold electrons follow drift motion due to wave electric fields. For magnetosonic waves with a finite k(parallel to), there exists a nonnegligible parallel fluctuating electric field, leading to a significant and rapid energization in the parallel direction for cold electrons. These cold electrons can also be efficiently energized in the perpendicular direction due to the interaction with the magnetosonic wave fields in the perpendicular direction. However, cold protons can be only heated in the perpendicular direction, which is likely caused by the higher-order resonances with magnetosonic waves. The potential impacts of magnetosonic waves on the energization of the background cold plasmas in the Earth's inner magnetosphere are also discussed in this paper.