Wave Dispersion and Ray Propagation in a Weakly Relativistic Electron Plasma: Implications for the Generation of Auroral Kilometric Radiation


J. Geophys. Res., 90, 9675 - 9687, 1985.
(Received August 24, 1984; revised June 4, 1985; accepted June 5, 1985.)
Copyright 1985 by the American Geophysical Union.
Paper number 4A8293.


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Fig. 1a.     Contour plot of wave frequency for a ring distribution. Contours of normalized frequency are plotted as a function of ring momentum (p / mc) and normalized plasma frequency squared ( / ). Contours are spaced every 0.002 for / > 1.02 with thick contours at intervals of 0.02 . For / < 1.02 the spacing is .00l between thin contours.
Fig. 1b. Contour plot of growth rate for a ring distribution. The growth rate corresponds to the frequencies shown in Figure1a. The contours are spaced at every 2 x 10.

Fig. 2a. Plot of wave frequency for a ring distribution plus a cold background plasma. The frequency is shown as function of normalized plasma frequency squared ( / ) and the ratio of hot to total number density (n / n) using a three-dimensional representation.
Fig. 2b. Plot of growth rate for a ring distribution plus a cold background plasma. The growth rate corresponds to the frequencies shown in Figure 2a.
Fig. 3a. Plot of wave frequency as a function of wave vector. The plasma parameters are held fixed, while the wave vector magnitude and direction are varied.
Fig. 3b. Plot of growth rate as a function of wave vector. The growth rate corresponds to the frequencies shown in Figure 3a.
Fig. 4. Fraction of wave electric field that is right-hand circularly polarized. The polarization is plotted for the solutions shown in Figures 3a and 3b.
Fig 5. Ratio of longitudinal to transverse electric field magnitude. This ratio is plotted for the solutions in Figures 3a and 3b.
Fig. 6a. Plot of the wave frequency for a low-density plasma. This figure is similar in format to Figure 3a, but / = 10, i.e., p / mc > / , which we refer to as an underdense plasma.
Fig. 6b. Plot of the growth rate for a low density plasma. The growth rate corresponds to the frequencies shown in Figure 6a.
Fig. 7. Model of the auroral density cavity. The electron gyrofrequency, plasma frequency-gyrofrequency ratio, and characteristic perpendicualr momentum are plotted as a function of geocentric distance along a field line. The derivation of these parameters is described in more detail in the text.
Fig. 8a. Plot of wave frequency for a model of an auroral zone field line. Solutions of the ring dispersion relation have been found assuming that only the normalized plasma frequency and parallel wave vector vary as a function of altitude along an auroral zone field line.
Fig. 8b. Plot of growth rate for a model of an auroral zone field line. The growth rate corresponds to the frequencies shown in Figure 8a.
Fig. 9. Contour plot of parallel group velocity. The contours have been plotted for v / c 2 x 10, with a contour interval of 10. The plasma parameters are the same as in Figures 8a and 8b. The shaded area indicates that region for which the parallel group velocity is less than zero.
Fig. 10. Contour plot of parallel group velocity for fixed density ratio. Similar in format to Figure 9. The contour interval is 10 .
Fig. 11. Schematic of the wave properties at different altitudes along the auroral field line. The arrows in the top panel indicate the ray direction for a fixed frequency. The thickening is meant to suggest propagation out of the plane of the figure across the ambient field. The bottom three panels give estimates of the growth rate, probable wave vector directions, and wave vector magnitude. The wave properties have been summarized for both an underdense and an overdense region on the field line.


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