Published online by Cambridge University Press: 17 June 2002
This paper considers single-particle trajectories in a planar sheared force-free magnetic field. A specific feature of this magnetic configuration is the absence of both gradient and curvature magnetic drifts, as well as a diamagnetic force along field lines. Therefore, in the framework of the drift approximation, the motion of the particle guiding centre does not feel the magnetic field's non-uniformity. Here we discuss how the latter affects actual particle trajectories, making them quite different from simple circular gyromotion even when the Larmor radius is small. It is also shown how magnetic confinement ceases to work when the Larmor radius becomes comparable to the spatial scale of the field variation.
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