Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Space Science

Committee Chair

Jakobus le Roux

Committee Member

Gary P. Zank

Committee Member

Gang Li

Committee Member

Vladimir Florinski

Committee Member

James A. Miller


Coronal mass ejections., Solar energetic particles., Magnetohydrodynamic waves.


Observations of extreme solar energetic particle events associated with coronal mass ejection driven shocks have detected particle energies up to a few GeV at 1 AU within the first ~10 minutes to 1 hour of shock acceleration. Whether or not acceleration by a single shock is sufficient in these events or if some combination of multiple shocks or solar flares is required is currently not well understood. Furthermore, the observed onset times of the extreme SEP events place the shock in the corona when the particles escape upstream. We have updated our focused transport theory model that has successfully been applied to the termination shock and traveling interplanetary shocks in the past to investigate extreme SEP acceleration in the solar corona. This model solves the time-dependent Focused Transport Equation including particle preheating due to the cross shock electric field and the divergence, adiabatic compression, and acceleration of the solar wind flow. Diffusive shock acceleration of solar energetic particles is included via the first-order Fermi mechanism for parallel shocks. To investigate the effects of the solar corona on the acceleration of SEPs, we have included an empirical model for the plasma number density, temperature, and velocity. The shock acceleration process becomes highly time-dependent due to the rapid variation of these coronal properties with heliocentric distance. Additionally, particle interaction with MHD wave turbulence is modeled in terms of gyroresonant interactions with parallel propagating Alfvén waves. However, previous modeling efforts suggest that the background amplitude of the solar wind turbulence is not sufficient to accelerate SEPs to extreme energies over the short time scales observed. To account for this, we have included the transport and self-consistent amplification of Alfvén waves by the shock accelerated solar energetic particles through wave-particle gyroresonance.



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