34th Solar Physics Division Meeting, June 2003
Session 18 RHESSI Results II
Poster, Wednesday, June 18, 2003, 3:30-5:00pm, Mezzanine

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[18.05] RHESSI Observations of Electron Beam Stability

T. R. Metcalf, D. Alexander (LMSAL)

The standard thick-target electron beam model for solar flare hard X-ray production typically requires electron beams with a current of 1017 Amperes in order to explain the observed hard X-ray emission. Such high beam currents can exceed the Alfven-Lawson limit causing the beam to essentially 'self-destruct'. One way of circumventing this problem is to impose a converging field geometry which reduces the area in the hard X-ray production region relative to that in the electron acceleration region. In this paper, we use the highest spatial resolution RHESSI observations of flare footpoints, with inferred electron spectral and flux properties, to test whether the conditions for stability of the electron beam are met.


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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #3
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