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Wave Emission of Nonthermal Electron Beams Generated by Magnetic Reconnection

Yao, Xin; Muñoz, Patricio A.; Büchner, Jörg; Benáček, Jan; Liu, Siming; Zhou, Xiaowei

Magnetic reconnection in solar flares can efficiently generate nonthermal electron beams. The energetic electrons can, in turn, cause radio waves through microscopic plasma instabilities as they propagate through the ambient plasma along the magnetic field lines. We aim at investigating the wave emission caused by fast-moving electron beams with characteristic nonthermal electron velocity distribution functions (EVDFs) generated by kinetic magnetic reconnection: two-stream EVDFs along the separatrices and in the diffusion region, and perpendicular crescent-shaped EVDFs closer to the diffusion region. For this purpose, we utilized 2.5D fully kinetic Particle-In-Cell code simulations in this study. We found the following: (1) the two-stream EVDFs plus the background ions are unstable to electron/ion (streaming) instabilities, which cause ion-acoustic waves and Langmuir waves due to the net current. This can lead to multiple-harmonic plasma emission in the diffusion region and the separatrices of reconnection. (2) The perpendicular crescent-shaped EVDFs can cause multiple-harmonic electromagnetic electron cyclotron waves through the electron cyclotron maser instabilities in the diffusion region of reconnection. Our results are applicable to diagnose the plasma parameters, which are associated to magnetic reconnection in solar flares by means of radio wave observations.
Published in: The Astrophysical Journal, 10.3847/1538-4357/ac7141, IOP