WAVES IN PLASMAS GENERATED BY A ROTATING MAGNETIC FIELD AND IMPLICATIONS TO RADIATION BELTS
Karavaev, Alexey V.
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The interaction of rotating magnetic fields (RMF) with magnetized plasmas is a fundamental plasma physics problem with implications to a wide range of areas, including laboratory and space plasma physics. Despite the importance of the topic the basic physics of the phenomenon remains unexplored. An important application of a RMF is its potential use as an efficient radiation source of low frequency waves in space plasmas, including whistler and shear Alfven waves (SAW) for controlled remediation of energetic particles in the Earth's radiation belts. In this dissertation the RMF waves generated in magnetized plasma are studied using numerical simulations with a semi-analytical three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) model and experiments on the generation of whistler and magnetohydrodynamic waves conducted in UCLA's Large Plasma Device. Comparisons of the simulation results with the experimental measurements, namely, measured spatiotemporal wave structures, dispersion relation with finite transverse wave number, wave amplitude dependence on plasma and RMF source parameters, show good agreement in both the whistler and MHD wave regimes. In both the experiments and the 3D MHD simulations a RMF source was found to be very efficient in the generation of MHD and whistler waves with arbitrary polarizations. The RMF source drives significant field aligned plasma currents confined by the ambient magnetic field for both the whistler and MHD wave regimes, resulting in efficient transport of wave energy along the ambient magnetic field. The efficient transfer of the wave energy results in slow decay rates of the wave amplitude along the ambient magnetic field. The circular polarization of the waves generated by the RMF source, slow amplitude decay rate along the ambient magnetic field and nonzero transverse wave number determined by the RMF source size lead to nonlocal gradients of the wave magnetic field in the direction perpendicular to the ambient magnetic field. A RMF can be generated by a system of polyphase alternating currents or by a rotating permanent or superconducting magnet. For the magnetospheric plasma rotating permanent or superconducting magnets are suitable for injection of very low frequency (VLF) shear Alfven and magnetosonic waves. The generation of whistler waves in the magnetosphere plasma requires frequencies of the order of kHz, so in order to inject whistler waves generated by a RMF it is necessary to use an antenna with polyphase alternating currents. The interactions of the waves generated by a RMF source with highly energetic electron population were investigated in LAPD experiment and by test-particle simulations of non-resonant pitch angle scattering of trapped energetic electrons using the electromagnetic fields calculated using the 3D model. It was found in both the experiment and test-particle simulations that waves generated by a RMF source are, indeed, very efficient in pitch angle scattering of trapped hot electrons due to the creation of magnetic field gradients in the direction perpendicular to the ambient magnetic field. Different scenarios for the applications to the precipitation of highly energetic electrons in the magnetosphere are presented.