Electron-cyclotron maser emission by power-law electrons in coronal loops
Purple Mountain Observatory, 2 West Beijing Road, Nanjing 210008, PR China e-mail: email@example.com
2 Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, PR China
Accepted: 15 October 2008
Context. The electron-cyclotron maser (ECM) instability is an important mechanism that amplifies electromagnetic radiation directly by nonthermal electrons trapped in magnetic fields. The nonthermal electrons frequently have a negative power-law distribution with a lower energy cutoff (Ec), which will depress the instability.
Aims. In this paper, it is shown that the lower energy cutoff behavior of power-law electrons trapped in coronal loops can drive the ECM instability efficiently.
Methods. Based on the dispersive relation for high-frequency waves and distribution function for power-law electrons with a lower energy cutoff in a coronal loop, the growth rates of the O and X mode waves at fundamental and harmonic frequencies are calculated.
Results. The results show that the instability is driven when because of a population inversion below the cutoff energy Ec, where δ is the steepness index describing the cutoff behavior and α the power-law spectrum index. The growth rates increase with δ and Ec, but decrease with α, σ, and Ω, where σ is the magnetic mirror ratio of the loop and Ω the ratio frequency in the loop.
Conclusions. This novel driving mechanism for the ECM emission can be expected to have a potential importance for understanding the microphysics of radio bursts from the Sun and others.
Key words: masers / plasmas / radiation mechanisms: nonthermal / Sun: radio radiation
© ESO, 2009