Theory of the jitter radiation in a magnetized plasma accompanying a temperature gradient

Makoto Hattori, Kazushiro Fujiki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The linear stability of a magnetized plasma accompanying a temperature gradient is reexamined by using plasma kinetic theory. We propose that the anisotropic velocity distribution function should be decomposed into two components. One is proportional to the temperature gradient parallel to the background magnetic field. The other is proportional to the temperature gradient perpendicular to the background magnetic field. Since the amplitude of the anisotropic velocity distribution function is proportional to the heat conductivity, and the heat conductivity perpendicular to the magnetic field is strongly reduced, the first component of the anisotropic velocity distribution function is predominant. The anisotropic velocity distribution function induced by the temperature gradient along the background magnetic field drives plasma kinetic instability and circular polarized magnetic plasma waves are excited. We show that the instability is almost identical to the Weibel instability in the weakly magnetized plasma. However, in the case of the instability caused by the temperature gradient, whether wave vectors of modes are parallel to or antiparallel to the background magnetic field, the growth rate of one mode is suppressed and the growth rate of the other mode is enhanced due to the background magnetic field. In the strongly magnetized plasma, one mode is stabilized and only one of the modes remains unstable. The formulae for the jitter radiation spectrum emitted by relativistic electrons when they travel through the magnetized plasma with the plasma waves driven by the instability are deduced at the first time. We show that the synchrotron emission and the jitter radiation are simultaneously emitted from the same relativistic electron. The jitter radiation is expected to be circularly polarized but with a very small polarization degree since almost the same amounts of left-handed and right-handed circular polarized magnetic waves are excited by the instability.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of Japan
Volume68
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 4

Keywords

  • instabilities
  • plasmas
  • relativistic processes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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