After being accelerated close to the Sun, solar energetic particles (SEPs) are transported (mainly) along the turbulent interplanetary magnetic field. In this study, we simulate the propagation of ~100 keV electrons as they are scattered in the interplanetary medium. A consequence of these wave-particle interactions is the possible modification (either growth or damping) of the background turbulence by anisotropic SEP electron beams. This process was thought to be negligible, and therefore neglected in past modeling approaches. However, recent observations and modeling by Agueda and Lario (2016) suggest that wave generation may be significant and is therefore included and evaluated in our present model. Our results suggest that wave amplification by streaming SEP electrons is indeed possible and may even significantly alter the background turbulent field. However, the simulations show that this process is much too weak to produce observable effects at Earth’s orbit, but such effects may well be observed in future by spacecraft closer to the Sun, presenting an intriguing observational opportunity for either the Solar Orbiter or the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft. Lastly, we note that the level of perpendicular diffusion may also play an important role in determining the effectiveness of the wave growth process.
Reference: Agueda, N. and Lario, D. Release History and Transport Parameters of Relativistic Solar Electrons Inferred From Near-the-Sun In Situ Observations, ApJ, 829, 131, 2016.