Volume 558, October 2013
|Number of page(s)||8|
|Published online||25 October 2013|
Pitch-angle scattering in magnetostatic turbulence
I. Test-particle simulations and the validity of analytical results
Zentrum für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Technische Universität
2 Center for Space Plasmas and Aeronomic Research, University of Alabama in Huntsville, 320 Sparkman Drive, Huntsville, AL 35805, USA
3 Department of Mathematics, University of Waikato, PB 3105, 3216 Hamilton, New Zealand
4 Institut für Theoretische Physik, Lehrstuhl IV: Weltraum- und Astrophysik, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 44780 Bochum, Germany
5 Institut für Experimentelle und Angewandte Physik, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Leibnizstraße 11, 24118 Kiel, Germany
Received: 25 June 2013
Accepted: 21 August 2013
Context. Spacecraft observations have motivated the need for a refined description of the phase-space distribution function. Of particular importance is the pitch-angle diffusion coefficient that occurs in the Fokker-Planck transport equation.
Aims. Simulations and analytical test-particle theories are compared to verify the diffusion description of particle transport, which does not allow for non-Markovian behavior.
Methods. A Monte-Carlo simulation code was used to trace the trajectories of test particles moving in turbulent magnetic fields. From the ensemble average, the pitch-angle Fokker-Planck coefficient is obtained via the mean square displacement.
Results. It is shown that, while excellent agreement with analytical theories can be obtained for slab turbulence, considerable deviations are found for isotropic turbulence. In addition, all Fokker-Planck coefficients tend to zero for high time values.
Key words: plasmas / magnetic fields / turbulence / solar wind / cosmic rays
© ESO, 2013
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