Thermal electron heating rate : A derivation
- Hoegy, W. R.
- Nov 1, 1983.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- The thermal electron heating rate is an important heat source term in the ionospheric electron energy balance equation, representing heating by photoelectrons or by precipitating higher energy electrons. A formula for the thermal electron heating rate is derived from the kinetic equation using the electron-electron collision operator as given by the unified theory of Kihara and Aono. This collision operator includes collective interactions to produce a finite collision operator with an exact Coulomb logarithm term. The derived heating rate O(e) is the sum of three terms, O(e) = O(p) + S + O(int), which are respectively: (1) primary electron production term giving the heating from newly created electrons that have not yet suffered collisions with the ambient electrons; (2) a heating term evaluated on the energy surface m(e)/2 = E(T) at the transition between Maxwellian and tail electrons at E(T); and (3) the integral term representing heating of Maxwellian electrons by energetic tail electrons at energies ET. Published ionospheric electron temperature studies used only the integral term O(int) with differing lower integration limits. Use of the incomplete heating rate could lead to erroneous conclusions regarding electron heat balance, since O(e) is greater than O(int) by as much as a factor of two.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19840007873., Accession ID: 84N15941., NAS 1.15:85124., and NASA-TM-85124.
- No Copyright.
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