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4 Scopus citations


We use a method developed by Roberts that optimizes the phase angles of an ensemble of plane waves with amplitudes determined from a Kolmogorov-like power spectrum, to construct magnetic field vector fluctuations having nearly constant magnitude and large variances in its components. This is a representation of the turbulent magnetic field consistent with that observed in the solar wind. Charged-particle pitch-angle diffusion coefficients are determined by integrating the equations of motion for a large number of charged particles moving under the influence of forces from our predefined magnetic field. We tested different cases by varying the kinetic energy of the particles (E p) and the turbulent magnetic field variance (σB 2). For each combination of E pand , we tested three different models: (1) the so-called "slab" model, where the turbulent magnetic field depends on only one spatial coordinate and has significant fluctuations in its magnitude (√δBx 2(z)+δ y 2(z)+B0 2) (2) the slab model optimized with nearly constant magnitude b; and (3) the slab model turbulent magnetic field with nearly constant magnitude plus a "variance-conserving" adjustment. In the last case, this model attempts to conserve the variance of the turbulent components (σBy 2Bx 2), which is found to decrease during the optimization with nearly constant magnitude. We found that there is little or no effect on the pitch-angle diffusion coefficient between models 1 and 2. However, the result from model 3 is significantly different. We also introduce a new method to accurately determine the pitch-angle diffusion coefficients as a function of μ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 10 2016


  • diffusion
  • magnetic fields
  • solar wind
  • turbulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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