Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Physics and Astronomy

Committee Chair

Mark Koepke

Committee Co-Chair

Paul Cassak

Committee Member

Gary Ganser

Committee Member

Duncan Lorimer

Committee Member

Dimitris Vassiliadis


The research presented in this thesis covers wave-particle interactions for relativistic (0.5-10 MeV) electrons in Earth's outer radiation belt (r = 3-7 RE, or L-shells: L = 3-7) interacting with magnetospheric Pc-5 (ULF) waves. This dissertation focuses on ideal models for short and long term electron energy and radial position scattering caused by interactions with ULF waves.;We use test particle simulations to investigate these wave-particle interactions with ideal wave and magnetic dipole fields. We demonstrate that the wave-particle phase can cause various patterns in phase space trajectories, i.e. local acceleration, and that for a global electron population, for all initial conditions accounted for, has a negligible net energy scattering. Working with GSM polar coordinates, the relevant wave field components are EL, Ephi and Bz, where we find that the maximum energy scattering is 3-10 times more effective for Ephi compared to EL in a magnetic dipole field with a realistic dayside compression amplitude. We also evaluate electron interactions with two coexisting waves for a set of small frequency separations and phases, where it is confirmed that multi-resonant transport is possible for overlapping resonances in phase space when the Chirikov criterion is met (stochasticity parameter K = 1). The electron energy scattering enhances with decreasing frequency separation, i.e. increasing K, and is also dependent on the phases of the waves. The global acceleration is non-zero, can be onset in about 1 hour and last for > 4 hours.;The adiabatic wave-particle interaction discussed up to this point can be regarded as short-term scattering ( tau ∼ hours ). When the physical problem extends to longer time scales (tau ∼ days ) the process ceases to be adiabatic due to the introduction of stochastic element in the system and becomes a diffusive process.;We show that any mode in a broadband spectrum can contribute to the total diffusion rate for a particular drift frequency within the spectral band via dynamic phases. Each mode contributes maximally at a phase reset frequency fr = 2.63fk, where fk is the mode frequency. We experiment with electron diffusion due to interaction with wave broadband spectra in MLT sectors and find the phase reset effect being strongest when there is no azimuthal wave vector (msec = 0) within the sector. DLL rapidly coheres to the local PSD as the wave number increases and, for example, at msec = 1.00+/-0.25 the effect of phase resets is only 10-30% as strong as for msec = 0. Since phase resets depend on particle drift frequencies when MLT sectors are involved, a consequence is that DLL must adjust as a function of L-shell as well. For example, from the local PSD as the sole contributor to diffusion Schulz and Lanzerotte (1979) has shown that DLL ∼ L6 , but we prove that the function becomes DLL ∼ L5 with some variations due to fd and MLT sector width.;The final part of this dissertation evaluates a pre storm commencement event on November 7, 2004, when Earth's magnetopause was struck by a high-speed solar wind with a mostly northward component of interplanetary magnetic field. We obtained a global MHD field simulated by the OpenGGC model for the interval 17:00-18:40 in universal time from NASA's Community Coordinated Modeling Center. Global distribution plots of the electric and magnetic field PSD reveal strong ULF waves spanning the whole dayside sector. There are distinct electric field modes at approximately 0.9, 2.3 and 3.7-6.3 mHz within the dayside sector, which we then used in test-particle simulations and the variance calculations in order to evaluate the diffusion coefficients. To ensure diffusion by sufficient stochasticity, we run the event by repeating the interval 10 times in series for a total duration of 12 hours. For the wave electric fields, the predicted diffusion coefficient due to local PSD matches the outcome from simulated electron scattering at 0.9 and 2.3 mHz. The diffusion due to the wider frequency band at 3.7-6.3 mHz does not fit the PSD profile alone, and requires phase resets in non-resonant modes within the spectrum to yield an agreement between the calculations and the simulations. Furthermore, only msec = 1 provides the correct solution. We have thus demonstrated the importance in including both the MLT sector width and wave number as additional significant factors apart from the local PSD in determining the diffusion coefficient for a realistic wave field. (Abstract shortened by UMI.).