Anomalous resistivity in beam-return currents and hard-X ray spectra of solar flares
1 Purple Mountain Observatory, CAS, Nanjing 210008, PR China
2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, PR China
Received: 18 August 2012
Accepted: 3 December 2012
Context. Observations of hard-X ray (HXR) spectra from solar flares show that there is noncollisional energy loss when energetic beam electrons are transported along the flare loop from their acceleration site above the looptop in the corona to the loop footpoints in the chromosphere.
Aims. This paper investigates anomalous (i.e., noncollisional) resistivity due to the effective collision by the wave-particle interaction in the beam-return current system of a flare and its effect on the HXR spectral evolution between the looptop and footpoint sources.
Methods. To attribute the noncollisional energy loss to an induced electric field by the beam current, the induced electric field is estimated by the spectral evolution between the looptop and footpoint sources, which is deduced from the standard thin-thick target model. To include collisional and anomalous resistivity caused by the ion-acoustic wave turbulence excited by the return current, the necessary excited level and the excited condition are discussed for the steady-state case in which the return current density driven by the induced electric field in terms of Ohm’s law is required to be equal to the beam current density.
Results. The results show that including the anomalous resistivity can reasonably remove the discrepancy between observations and predictions. Meanwhile, the necessary excited level for the ion-acoustic turbulence is tens times of the thermal noise of electrostatic fluctuations in the background plasma, which is an ordinary and low excited level that is easily satisfied.
Conclusions. This indicates that the microscopic kinetics of plasma particles possibly play an important and critical role in understanding the dynamics of beam-return current systems in the solar atmosphere and in the physics of solar flares.
Key words: Sun: flares / Sun: X-rays, gamma rays / plasmas / acceleration of particles
© ESO, 2013