Articles | Volume 33, issue 4
ANGEO Communicates
24 Apr 2015
ANGEO Communicates |  | 24 Apr 2015

Electrostatic double layers as auroral particle accelerators – a problem

D. A. Bryant and G. M. Courtier

Abstract. A search of the Annales Geophysicae database shows that double layers and other quasi-static electric potential structures have been invoked hundreds of times since the year 2000 as being the agents of auroral electron acceleration. This is despite the fact that energy transfer by conservative fields has been known for some 200 years to be impossible. Attention is drawn to a long-standing interpretation of the acceleration process in terms of the dynamic fields of electrostatic waves.