Role of overshoots in the formation of the downstream distribution of adiabatic electrons Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract We analyze the influence of the magnetic overshoot on the downstream electron distributions formed as a result of the collisionless adiabatic motion of the electrons in the quasi-stationary electric field in shock front. We show that a substantial overshoot can result in a significant distortion of the downstream distribution due to cutting out the electrons with high perpendicular velocities. We calculate numerically the electron distribution in the Ļ…ā€– ā€“ vāŠ„ plane, as well as expected cuts through the distribution depending on the angle with respect to the magnetic field direction, also taking into account the averaging procedure of the ISEE type apparatus. These distorted distributions and cuts should be clearly observed in the downstream region just behind the shock transition layer. Absence of such observations would indicate that the above picture of adiabatic electron dynamics in the static field is significantly incomplete, and estimates based on these assumptions should be considered with caution.

publication date

  • January 1, 1999