Space Science Reviews

, Volume 16, Issue 1–2, pp 189–256 | Cite as

Non-relativistic solar electrons

  • R. P. Lin


This review summarizes both the direct spacecraft observations of non-relativistic solar electrons, and observations of the X-ray and radio emission generated by these particles at the Sun and in the interplanetary medium. These observations bear on three physical processes basic to energetic particle phenomena: (1) the acceleration of particles in tenuous plasmas; (2) the propagation of energetic charged particles in a disordered magnetic field, and (3) the interaction of energetic charged particles with tenuous plasmas to produce electromagnetic radiation. Because these electrons are frequently accelerated and emitted by the Sun, mostly in small and relatively simple flares, it is possible to define a detailed physical picture of these processes.

In many small solar flares non-relativistic electrons accelerated during flash phase constitute the bulk of the total flare energy. Thus the basic flare mechanism in these flares essentially converts the available flare energy into fast electrons. Non-relativistic electrons exhibit a wide variety of propagation modes in the interplanetary medium, ranging from diffusive to essentially scatter-free. This variability in the propagation may be explained in terms of the distribution of interplanetary magnetic field fluctuations. Type III solar radio burst emission is generated by these electrons as they travel out to 1 AU and beyond. Recent in situ observations of these electrons at 1 AU, accompanied by simultaneous observations of the low frequency radio emission generated by them at 1 AU provide quantitative information on the plasma processes involved in the generation of type III bursts.


Flare Radio Emission Interplanetary Magnetic Field Interplanetary Medium Solar Radio Burst 
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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© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. P. Lin
    • 1
  1. 1.Space Sciences Laboratory, University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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