Volume 535, November 2011
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Published online||26 October 2011|
Turbulent cross-field transport of non-thermal electrons in coronal loops: theory and observations
Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Glasgow, G12 8QQ, UK
Received: 27 June 2011
Accepted: 20 August 2011
Context. A fundamental problem in astrophysics is the interaction between magnetic turbulence and charged particles. It is now possible to use Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) observations of hard X-rays (HXR) emitted by electrons to identify the presence of turbulence and to estimate the magnitude of the magnetic field line diffusion coefficient at least in dense coronal flaring loops.
Aims. We discuss the various possible regimes of cross-field transport of non-thermal electrons resulting from broadband magnetic turbulence in coronal loops. The importance of the Kubo number K as a governing parameter is emphasized and results applicable in both the large and small Kubo number limits are collected.
Methods. Generic models, based on concepts and insights developed in the statistical theory of transport, are applied to the coronal loops and to the interpretation of hard X-ray imaging data in solar flares. The role of trapping effects, which become important in the non-linear regime of transport, is taken into account in the interpretation of the data.
Results. For this flaring solar loop, we constrain the ranges of parallel and perpendicular correlation lengths of turbulent magnetic fields and possible Kubo numbers. We show that a substantial amount of magnetic fluctuations with energy ~1% (or more) of the background field can be inferred from the measurements of the magnetic diffusion coefficient inside thick-target coronal loops.
Key words: Sun: X-rays, gamma rays
© ESO, 2011
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