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Combined Modeling of Acceleration, Transport, and Hydrodynamic Response in Solar Flares

By Vahe Petrosian, Wei Liu and John T. Mariska


Acceleration and transport of high-energy particles and fluid dynamics of atmospheric plasma are interrelated aspects of solar flares, but for convenience and simplicity they were artificially separated in the past. We present here self consistently combined Fokker-Planck modeling of particles and hydrodynamic simulation of flare plasma. Energetic electrons are modeled with the Stanford unified code of acceleration, transport, and radiation, while plasma is modeled with the Naval Research Laboratory flux tube code. We calculated the collisional heating rate directly from the particle transport code, which is more accurate than those in previous studies based on approximate analytical solutions. We repeated the simulation of Mariska et al. with an injection of power law, downward-beamed electrons using the new heating rate. For this case, a -10% difference was found from their old result. We also used a more realistic spectrum of injected electrons provided by the stochastic acceleration model, which has a smooth transition from a quasi-thermal background at low energies to a non thermal tail at high energies. The inclusion of low-energy electrons results in relatively more heating in the corona (versus chromosphere) and thus a larger downward heat conduction flux. The interplay of electron heating, conduction, and radiative loss leads to stronger chromospheric evaporation than obtained in previous studies, which had a deficit in low-energy electrons due to an arbitrarily assumed low-energy cutoff. The energy and spatial distributions of energetic electrons and bremsstrahlung photons bear signatures of the changing density distribution caused by chromospheric evaporation. In particular, the density jump at the evaporation front gives rise to enhanced emission, which, in principle, can be imaged by X-ray telescopes. This model can be applied to investigate a variety of high-energy processes in solar, space, and astrophysical plasmas

Topics: Solar Physics
Year: 2009
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