Effect of shock normal orientation fluctuations on field-aligned beam distributions

K. Meziane, A. M. Hamza, M. Wilber, M. A. Lee, C. Mazelle, E. A. Lucek, T. Hada, A. Markowitch

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    We address the unsolved question of how foreshock field-aligned beam (FAB) parallel temperatures are produced. Studies including numerical simulations and recent observations have indicated that shocks can be nonstationary and include embedded spatial structures with varied scales. As a first step towards assessing the impact of such variability on backstreaming ions, we examine how a randomly distributed shock normal direction will affect FAB parallel velocity (v||) distributions. Assuming that the FABs are produced in a quasi-adiabatic reflection process at the shock, we derive a probability distribution function for v||. These derived distributions exhibit second, third and fourth order moments that agree well with the observations for a large range of reflection efficiencies δ, and depend strongly upon the average angle between the magnetic field and the shock normal θBn0. Best agreement is obtained for fluctuations of the normal orientation of a few degrees about a nominal direction. The derived model predicts a strong correlation between the shock geometry (θBn0) and the moments of the parallel velocity distribution, but with stronger tails extending to higher values of θBn0, a trend opposite to the observations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)349-362
    Number of pages14
    JournalAstrophysics and Space Science Proceedings
    Issue number202469
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    Event15th Workshop on Cluster Active Archive, 2008 - Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
    Duration: Mar 9 2008Mar 15 2008

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Physics and Astronomy(all)
    • Computer Science Applications
    • Spectroscopy
    • Space and Planetary Science
    • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

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