Solar Wind Electron Acceleration via Langmuir Turbulence


The solar wind electrons observed at 1 AU are characterized by velocity distribution functions (VDF) that deviate from the Maxwellian form in a high energy regime. Such a feature is often modeled by a kappa distribution. In the present paper a self-consistent theory of quiet-time solar wind electrons that contain a power-law tail component, fv is discussed. These electrons are assumed to be in dynamic equilibrium with enhanced electrostatic fluctuations with peak frequency near the plasma frequency (i.e., the Langmuir turbulence). In order to verify the theoretical prediction, the solar wind electrons in the high-energy range known as the super-halo distribution detected by WIND and STEREO spacecraft are compared against the theoretical model where it was found that the theoretical power-law index is intermittent with regard to the observed range of indices, thus indicating that the turbulent equilibrium model of suprathermal solar wind electrons may be valid.

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