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Solar flare particle propagation--comparison of a new analytic solution with spacecraft measurements


Lupton, John Edward (1972) Solar flare particle propagation--comparison of a new analytic solution with spacecraft measurements. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/RP79-C621.


A new analytic solution has been obtained to the complete Fokker-Planck equation for solar flare particle propagation including the effects of convection, energy-change, corotation, and diffusion with ĸr = constant and ĸƟ ∝ r2. It is assumed that the particles are injected impulsively at a single point in space, and that a boundary exists beyond which the particles are free to escape. Several solar flare particle events have been observed with the Caltech Solar and Galactic Cosmic Ray Experiment aboard OGO-6. Detailed comparisons of the predictions of the new solution with these observations of 1-70 MeV protons show that the model adequately describes both the rise and decay times, indicating that ĸr = constant is a better description of conditions inside 1 AU than is ĸr ∝ r. With an outer boundary at 2.7 AU, a solar wind velocity of 400 km/sec, and a radial diffusion coefficient ĸr ≈ 2-8 x 1020 cm2/sec, the model gives reasonable fits to the time-profile of 1-10 MeV protons from "classical" flare-associated events. It is not necessary to invoke a scatter-free region near the sun in order to reproduce the fast rise times observed for directly-connected events. The new solution also yields a time-evolution for the vector anisotropy which agrees well with previously reported observations.

In addition, the new solution predicts that, during the decay phase, a typical convex spectral feature initially at energy To will move to lower energies at an exponential rate given by TKINK = Toexp(-t/ƬKINK). Assuming adiabatic deceleration and a boundary at 2.7 AU, the solution yields ƬKINK ≈ 100h, which is faster than the measured ~200h time constant and slower than the adiabatic rate of ~78h at 1 AU. Two possible explanations are that the boundary is at ~5 AU or that some other energy-change process is operative.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Physics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Stone, Edward C.
Group:Space Radiation Laboratory
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:2 December 1971
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:05092016-095858999
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:9707
Deposited On:09 May 2016 18:41
Last Modified:09 Nov 2022 19:20

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