Freshly created ions can be picked up by a moving plasma without relying on collisions. It is well known that such an ion pickup process can be accomplished via the interaction with Alfven waves. However, it should be stressed that in generation pickup is attributed to two distinctly different sub-processes, namely, pitch-angle diffusion and pitch-angle scattering. In this article their difference is discussed and furthermore, some new results from a recent theoretical study are reported. It is found that under some conditions the usual quasilinear theory which describes the pitch-angle diffusion process cannot be justified even when the turbulence level is low. Another significant finding is that in the presence of strong Alfven turbulence, thermal ions can be intensely heated by a nonlinear damping of the waves, which does not depend upon the usual ion cyclotron resonance. (C) 1997 American Institute of Physics. [S1070-664X(97)00111-0].