Solar Physics

, Volume 100, Issue 1–2, pp 537–561 | Cite as

Energetic solar electrons in the interplanetary medium

  • R. P. Lin


ISEE-3 measurements extending down to 2 keV energy have provided a new perspective on energetic solar electrons in the interplanetary medium. Impulsive solar electron events are observed, on average, several times a day near solar maximum, with ∼40% detected only below ∼ 15 keV. The electron energy spectra have a nearly power-law shape extending smoothly down to 2 keV, indicating that the origin of these events is high in the corona. These coronal flare-like events often produced 3He-rich particle events.

In large solar flares which accelerate electrons and ions to relativistic energies, the electron spectrum appears to be modified by a second acceleration which results in a double power-law shape above ∼ 10 keV with a break near 100 keV and flattening from ∼10–100 keV. Large flares result in long-lived (many days) streams of outflowing electrons which dominate the interplanetary fluxes at low energies. Even in the absence of solar activity, significant fluxes of low energy electrons flow out from the Sun.

Solar type-III radio bursts are produced by the escaping 2–102 keV electrons through a beam-plasma instability. The detailed ISEE-3 measurements show that electron plasma waves are generated by the bump-on-tail distribution created by the faster electrons running ahead of the slower ones. These plasma waves appear to be converted into radio emission by nonlinear wave-wave interactions.


Flare Plasma Wave Interplanetary Medium Electron Plasma Wave Large Solar Flare 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. P. Lin
    • 1
  1. 1.Space Sciences LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyU.S.A.

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