AuthorChollet, Eileen Emily
Committee ChairGiacalone, Joe
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIn this dissertation, I explore the relationship between solar energetic particles (SEPs) and the interplanetary magnetic field, and I use observations of SEPs to probe the region of space between the Sun and the Earth. After an introduction of major concepts in heliospheric physics, describing some of the history of energetic particles and defining the data sets used in the work, the rest of this dissertation is organized around three major concepts related to energetic particle transport: magnetic field-line length, interplanetary turbulence, and particle scattering and diffusion. In Chapter 2, I discuss how energetic particles can be used to measure the lengths of field lines and how particle scattering complicates the interpretation of these measurements. I then propose applying these measurements to a particular open problem: the origin and properties of heliospheric current sheets. In the next chapter, I move from the large to small scale and apply energetic particle measurements to important problems in interplanetary turbulence. I introduce two energetic-particle features, one of which I discovered in the course of this work, which have size scales roughly that of the correlation scale of the turbulence (the largest scale over which observations are expected to be similar). I discuss how multi-spacecraft measurements of these energetic particle features can provide a measure of the correlation scale independent of the magnetic field measurements. Finally, I consider interplanetary scattering and diffusion in detail. I describe new observations of particle diffusion in the direction perpendicular to the average magnetic field, showing that particles only scatter a few times between their injection at the Sun and observation at the Earth. I also provide numerical simulation results of diffusion parallel to the field which can be used to correct for the effects of transport on the particles. These corrections allow inferences to be made about the particle energies at injection from observations of the event-integrated fluences at 1 AU. By carefully including scattering, cooling, field line meandering and turbulence effects, solar-energetic particles become a powerful tool for studying the inner heliosphere.
Degree ProgramPlanetary Sciences