Presentation #410.05 in the session Understanding Solar Eruptions Using Data-driven Models and Multi-height Observations of the Solar Atmosphere II.
During solar flares, a large flux of energetic electrons propagate from the tops of reconnecting magnetic flux tubes toward the lower atmosphere. Over the course of the electrons’ transport, a co-spatial counter-streaming return current is induced, thereby balancing the current density. In response to the return-current electric field, a fraction of the ambient electrons are accelerated into the runaway regime. I will show the various regimes of the electron beam/return current system propagation along magnetic flux tubes from the corona to the chromosphere, specifically the conditions under which the return current cannot be neglected and those where runaway electrons are significant. I will show how the propagation of an accelerated electron beam affects the atmospheric response and the acceleration/injection region when including the crucial effect of the co-spatial return current.