Modifications of thick-target model: re-acceleration of electron beams by static and stochastic electric fields
1 J.E. Purkyně University, Physics Department, České mládeže 8, 400 96 Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic
2 Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, v.v.i., 25165 Ondřejov, Czech Republic
Received: 29 July 2013
Accepted: 21 November 2013
Context. The collisional thick-target model (CTTM) of the impulsive phase of solar flares, together with the famous Carmichael, Sturrock, Hirayama, and Kopp-Pneuman (CSHKP) model, presented for many years a “standard” model, which straightforwardly explained many observational aspects of flares. On the other hand, many critical issues appear when the concept is scrutinised theoretically or with the new generation of hard X-ray (HXR) observations. The famous “electron number problem” or problems related to transport of enormous particle fluxes though the corona represent only two of them. To resolve the discrepancies, several modifications of the CTTM appeared.
Aims. We study two of them based on the global and local re-acceleration of non-thermal electrons by static and stochastic electric fields during their transport from the coronal acceleration site to the thick-target region in the chromosphere. We concentrate on a comparison of the non-thermal electron distribution functions, chromospheric energy deposits, and HXR spectra obtained for both considered modifications with the CTTM itself.
Methods. The results were obtained using a relativistic test-particle approach. We simulated the transport of non-thermal electrons with a power-law spectrum including the influence of scattering, energy losses, magnetic mirroring, and also the effects of the electric fields corresponding to both modifications of the CTTM.
Results. We show that both modifications of the CTTM change the outcome of the chromospheric bombardment in several aspects. The modifications lead to an increase in chromospheric energy deposit, change of its spatial distribution, and a substantial increase in the corresponding HXR spectrum intensity.
Conclusions. The re-acceleration in both models reduces the demands on the efficiency of the primary coronal accelerator, on the electron fluxes transported from the corona downwards, and on the total number of accelerated coronal electrons during flares.
Key words: Sun: flares / acceleration of particles / Sun: X-rays, gamma rays / Sun: chromosphere
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