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The Astrophysical Journal


The problem of particle transport perpendicular to a magnetic background field is well known in cosmic-ray astrophysics. Whereas it is widely accepted that quasi-linear theory (QLT) of particle transport does not provide the correct results for perpendicular diffusion, it was assumed for a long time that QLT is the correct theory for parallel diffusion. In the current paper we demonstrate that QLT is in general also incorrect for parallel particle transport if we consider composite turbulence geometry. Motivated through the recent success of the so-called nonlinear guiding center theory of perpendicular diffusion, we present a new theory for parallel and perpendicular diffusion of cosmic rays. This new theory is a nonlinear extension of QLT and provides us with a coupled system of nonlinear Fokker-Planck coefficients. By solving the resulting system of integral equations we obtain new results for the pitch-angle Fokker-Planck coefficient and the Fokker-Planck coefficient of perpendicular diffusion. By integrating over pitch angle we calculate the parallel and perpendicular mean free path. To our knowledge the new theory is the first that can deal with both parallel and perpendicular diffusion in agreement with simulations.



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