Analytical description of nonlinear cosmic ray scattering: isotropic and quasilinear regimes of pitch-angle diffusion
Institut für Theoretische Physik, Lehrstuhl IV: Weltraum- und Astrophysik, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 44780 Bochum, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 21 August 2009
Aims. We investigate pitch-angle scattering, which is a fundamental process in the physics of cosmic rays.
Methods. By employing the second-order quasilinear theory, the pitch-angle Fokker-Planck coefficient is calculated analytically for the first time.
Results. We demonstrate that for sufficiently strong turbulence the pitch-angle Fokker-Planck coefficient is isotropic. The derived results can be used to compute the parallel mean free path for all forms of the turbulence spectrum. We also consider applications, namely the transport of solar energetic particles and the propagation of cosmic rays in the Galaxy.
Conclusions. The previously used assumption of isotropic pitch-angle diffusion is indeed correct for sufficiently strong turbulence. An analytical description of nonlinear particle scattering is possible.
Key words: acceleration of particles / diffusion / cosmic rays / Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / turbulence / interplanetary medium
© ESO, 2009