Dynamics of Radiation Belt Particles


This paper reviews basic concepts of particle dynamics underlying theoretical aspect of radiation belt modeling and data analysis. We outline the theory of adiabatic invariants of quasiperiodic Hamiltonian systems and derive the invariants of particle motion trapped in the radiation belts. We discuss how the nonlinearity of resonant interaction of particles with small-amplitude plasma waves, ubiquitous across the inner magnetosphere, can make particle motion stochastic. Long-term evolution of a stochastic system can be described by the Fokker-Plank (diffusion) equation. We derive the kinetic equation of particle diffusion in the invariant space and discuss its limitations and associated challenges which need to be addressed in forthcoming radiation belt models and data analysis.


RBSP mission Radiation belts Quasi-linear diffusion Chaos Particle dynamics 


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© The Author(s) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Applied Physics LaboratoryJohns Hopkins UniversityLaurelUSA

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