Drift-induced deceleration of Solar Energetic Particles

Dalla, Silvia orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7837-5780, Marsh, Michael and Laitinen, Timo Lauri mikael orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7719-7783 (2015) Drift-induced deceleration of Solar Energetic Particles. Astrophysical Journal, 808 (1). ISSN 0004-637X

[thumbnail of Version of Record]
PDF (Version of Record) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/808/1/62


We investigate the deceleration of Solar Energetic Particles (SEPs) during their propagation from the Sun through interplanetary space, in the presence of weak to strong scattering in a Parker spiral configuration, using relativistic full orbit test particle simulations. The calculations retain all three spatial variables describing particles’ trajectories, allowing to model any transport across the magnetic field. Large energy change is shown to occur for protons, due to the combined effect of standard adiabatic deceleration and a significant contribution from particle drift in the direction opposite to that of the solar wind electric field. The latter drift-induced deceleration is found to have a stronger effect for SEP energies than for galactic cosmic rays. The kinetic energy of protons injected at 1 MeV is found to be reduced by between 35 and 90% after four days, and for protons injected at 100 MeV by between 20 and 55%. The overall degree of deceleration is a weak function of the scattering mean free path, showing that, although adiabatic deceleration plays a role, a large contribution is due to particle drift. Current SEP transport models are found to account for drift-induced deceleration in an approximate way and their accuracy will need to be assessed in future work.

Repository Staff Only: item control page