Electron acceleration by electric fields near the footpoints of current-carrying coronal magnetic loops
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We analyze the electric fields that arise at the footpoints of a coronal magnetic loop from the interaction between a convective flow of partially ionized plasma and the magnetic field of the loop. Such a situation can take place when the loop footpoints are at the nodes of several supergranulation cells. In this case, the neutral component of the converging convective flows entrain electrons and ions in different ways, because these are magnetized differently. As a result, a charge-separating electric field emerges at the loop footpoints, which can efficiently accelerate particles inside the magnetic loop under appropriate conditions. We consider two acceleration regimes: impulsive (as applied to simple loop flares) and pulsating (as applied to solar and stellar radio pulsations). We have calculated the fluxes of accelerated electrons and their characteristic energies. We discuss the role of the return current when dense beams of accelerated particles are injected into the corona. The results obtained are considered in light of the currently available data on the corpuscular radiation from solar flares.
Key wordsSun solar corona magnetic loops electron acceleration
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