skip to main content

Title: Diffusive shock re-acceleration
We have performed two-dimensional hybrid simulations of non-relativistic collisionless shocks in the presence of pre-existing energetic particles (‘seeds’); such a study applies, for instance, to the re-acceleration of galactic cosmic rays (CRs) in supernova remnant (SNR) shocks and solar wind energetic particles in heliospheric shocks. Energetic particles can be effectively reflected and accelerated regardless of shock inclination via a process that we call diffusive shock re-acceleration. We find that re-accelerated seeds can drive the streaming instability in the shock upstream and produce effective magnetic field amplification. This can eventually trigger the injection of thermal protons even at oblique shocks that ordinarily cannot inject thermal particles. We characterize the current in reflected seeds, finding that it tends to a universal value $J\simeq en_{\text{CR}}v_{\text{sh}}$ , where $en_{\text{CR}}$ is the seed charge density and $v_{\text{sh}}$ is the shock velocity. When applying our results to SNRs, we find that the re-acceleration of galactic CRs can excite the Bell instability to nonlinear levels in less than ${\sim}10~\text{yr}$ , thereby providing a minimum level of magnetic field amplification for any SNR shock. Finally, we discuss the relevance of diffusive shock re-acceleration also for other environments, such as heliospheric shocks, galactic superbubbles and clusters of galaxies.
Authors:
; ;
Award ID(s):
1814708
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10105023
Journal Name:
Journal of Plasma Physics
Volume:
84
Issue:
3
ISSN:
0022-3778
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract Galactic cosmic rays (CRs) are accelerated at the forward shocks of supernova remnants (SNRs) via diffusive shock acceleration (DSA), an efficient acceleration mechanism that predicts power-law energy distributions of CRs. However, observations of nonthermal SNR emission imply CR energy distributions that are generally steeper than E −2 , the standard DSA prediction. Recent results from kinetic hybrid simulations suggest that such steep spectra may arise from the drift of magnetic structures with respect to the thermal plasma downstream of the shock. Using a semi-analytic model of nonlinear DSA, we investigate the implications that these results have on the phenomenology of a wide range of SNRs. By accounting for the motion of magnetic structures in the downstream, we produce CR energy distributions that are substantially steeper than E −2 and consistent with observations. Our formalism reproduces both modestly steep spectra of Galactic SNRs (∝ E −2.2 ) and the very steep spectra of young radio supernovae (∝ E −3 ).
  2. Context.   Tycho ’s supernova remnant (SNR) is associated with the historical supernova (SN) event SN 1572 of Type Ia. The explosion occurred in a relatively clean environment, and was visually observed, providing an age estimate. This SNR therefore represents an ideal astrophysical test-bed for the study of cosmic-ray acceleration and related phenomena. A number of studies suggest that shock acceleration with particle feedback and very efficient magnetic-field amplification combined with Alfvénic drift are needed to explain the rather soft radio spectrum and the narrow rims observed in X-rays. Aims. We show that the broadband spectrum of Tycho ’s SNR can alternatively be well explained when accounting for stochastic acceleration as a secondary process. The re-acceleration of particles in the turbulent region immediately downstream of the shock should be efficient enough to impact particle spectra over several decades in energy. The so-called Alfvénic drift and particle feedback on the shock structure are not required in this scenario. Additionally, we investigate whether synchrotron losses or magnetic-field damping play a more profound role in the formation of the non-thermal filaments. Methods. We solved the full particle transport equation in test-particle mode using hydrodynamic simulations of the SNR plasma flow. The background magneticmore »field was either computed from the induction equation or follows analytic profiles, depending on the model considered. Fast-mode waves in the downstream region provide the diffusion of particles in momentum space. Results. We show that the broadband spectrum of Tycho can be well explained if magnetic-field damping and stochastic re-acceleration of particles are taken into account. Although not as efficient as standard diffusive shock acceleration, stochastic acceleration leaves its imprint on the particle spectra, which is especially notable in the emission at radio wavelengths. We find a lower limit for the post-shock magnetic-field strength ∼330  μ G, implying efficient amplification even for the magnetic-field damping scenario. Magnetic-field damping is necessary for the formation of the filaments in the radio range, while the X-ray filaments are shaped by both the synchrotron losses and magnetic-field damping.« less
  3. Abstract Diffusive shock acceleration at collisionless shocks remains the most likely process for accelerating particles in a variety of astrophysical sources. While the standard prediction for strong shocks is that the spectrum of accelerated particles is universal, f ( p ) ∝ p −4 , numerous phenomena affect this simple conclusion. In general, the nonlinear dynamical reaction of accelerated particles leads to a concave spectrum, steeper than p −4 at momenta below a few tens of GeV c −1 and harder than the standard prediction at high energies. However, the nonlinear effects become important in the presence of magnetic field amplification, which in turn leads to higher values of the maximum momentum p max . It was recently discovered that the self-generated perturbations that enhance particle scattering, when advected downstream, move in the same direction as the background plasma, so that the effective compression factor at the shock decreases and the spectrum becomes steeper. We investigate the implications of the excitation of the non-resonant streaming instability on these spectral deformations, the dependence of the spectral steepening on the shock velocity, and the role played by the injection momentum.
  4. Abstract

    We investigate acceleration and propagation processes of high-energy particles inside hot accretion flows. The magnetorotational instability (MRI) creates turbulence inside accretion flows, which triggers magnetic reconnection and may produce non-thermal particles. They can be further accelerated stochastically by the turbulence. To probe the properties of such relativistic particles, we perform magnetohydrodynamic simulations to obtain the turbulent fields generated by the MRI, and calculate orbits of the high-energy particles using snapshot data of the MRI turbulence. We find that the particle acceleration is described by a diffusion phenomenon in energy space with a diffusion coefficient of the hard-sphere type: Dε ∝ ε2, where ε is the particle energy. Eddies in the largest scale of the turbulence play a dominant role in the acceleration process. On the other hand, the stochastic behaviour in configuration space is not usual diffusion but superdiffusion: the radial displacement increases with time faster than that in the normal diffusion. Also, the magnetic field configuration in the hot accretion flow creates outward bulk motion of high-energy particles. This bulk motion is more effective than the diffusive motion for higher energy particles. Our results imply that typical active galactic nuclei that host hot accretion flows can accelerate CRs up tomore »ε ∼ 0.1−10 PeV.

    « less
  5. Abstract The structure of shocks and turbulence are strongly modified during the acceleration of cosmic rays (CRs) at a shock wave. The pressure and the collisionless viscous stress decelerate the incoming thermal gas and thus modify the shock structure. A CR streaming instability ahead of the shock generates the turbulence on which CRs scatter. The turbulent magnetic field in turn determines the CR diffusion coefficient and further affects the CR energy spectrum and pressure distribution. The dissipation of turbulence contributes to heating the thermal gas. Within a multicomponent fluid framework, CRs and thermal gas are treated as fluids and are closely coupled to the turbulence. The system equations comprise the gas dynamic equations, the CR pressure evolution equation, and the turbulence transport equations, and we adopt typical parameters for the hot ionized interstellar medium. It is shown that the shock has no discontinuity but possesses a narrow but smooth transition. The self-generated turbulent magnetic field is much stronger than both the large-scale magnetic field and the preexisting turbulent magnetic field. The resulting CR diffusion coefficient is substantially suppressed and is more than three orders smaller near the shock than it is far upstream. The results are qualitatively consistent with certainmore »observations.« less