Laboratory observations of enhanced loss of magnetic mirror trapped fast electrons irradiated by a shear Alfvén Wave (SAW) are reported. The experiment is performed in the quiescent after-glow plasma in the Large Plasma Device [Gekelman et al., Rev. Sci. Instrum. 62(12), 2875–2883 (1991)]. A trapped energetic electron population (>100 keV) is generated in a magnetic mirror section (mirror ratio ≈ 2, length = 3.5 m) by an X-mode high power microwave pulse, and forms a hot electron ring due to the grad-B and curvature drift. SAWs of arbitrary polarization are launched externally by a Rotating Magnetic Field source (δB/B0 ≈ 0.1%, λ ≈ 9 m). Irradiated by a right-handed circularly polarized SAW, the loss of electrons, in both the radial and the axial direction of the mirror field, is significantly enhanced and is modulated at fAlfvén. The periodical loss continues even after the termination of the SAW. Experimental observations suggest that a spatial distortion of the ring is formed in the SAW field and creates a collective mode of the hot electron population that degrades its confinement and leads to electron loss from the magnetic mirror. The results could have implications on techniques of radiation belt remediation.

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