Drift loss cone instability in the ring current and plasma sheet
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The drift loss cone instability, propagating nearly transverse to the ambient magnetic field, is studied in the ring current plasma taking into account the relative driftU between electrons and protons due to density gradients. The growth rates attain maxima and then decrease as the wave number parallel to the magnetic fieldk II increases. The peak values of the growth rates, maximised with respect tok II, are enhanced by the increase in number density, electron temperature and loss cone index, and by the decrease in βt, the ratio of the proton thermal pressure to magnetic field pressure. The unstable frequencies fall in the range of 5 to 30Ωp with the growth rate γ ≥Ωp. In the ring current region betweenL=4 and 5, the instability will generate a strong turbulence in the frequency range between 5–500 Hz which can produce fluctuating electric fields 0. 5–5 mV/m and magnetic field 0.8–80mγ. This instability can also occur on the auroral field lines, which connect to the region of intense earthward plasma flow in the distant magnetotail and produce a broad band electrostatic noise.
KeywordsDrift loss cone instability ring current plasma sheet broad band electrostatic noise magnetosphere
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