skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Philippov, Alexander A."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.


    The nature of cosmic ray (CR) transport in the Milky Way remains elusive. The predictions of current microphysical CR transport models in magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence are drastically different from what is observed. These models usually focus on MHD turbulence with a strong guide field and ignore the impact of turbulent intermittency on particle propagation. This motivates our studying the alternative regime of large-amplitude turbulence with δB/B0 ≫ 1, in which intermittent small-scale magnetic field reversals are ubiquitous. We study particle transport in such turbulence by integrating trajectories in stationary snapshots. To quantify spatial diffusion, we use a set-up with continuous particle injection and escape, which we term the turbulent leaky box. We find that particle transport is very different from the strong guide-field case. Low-energy particles are better confined than high-energy particles, despite less efficient pitch-angle isotropization at small energies. In the limit of weak guide field, energy-dependent confinement is driven by the energy-dependent (in)ability to follow reversing magnetic field lines exactly and by the scattering in regions of ‘resonant curvature’, where the field line bends on a scale that is of the order of the local particle gyro-radius. We derive a heuristic model of particle transport in magneticmore »folds that approximately reproduces the energy dependence of transport found numerically. We speculate that CR propagation in the Galaxy is regulated by the intermittent field reversals highlighted here and discuss the implications of our findings for CR transport in the Milky Way.

    « less
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  3. Abstract The processes controlling the complex clump structure, phase distribution, and magnetic field geometry that develop across a broad range of scales in the turbulent interstellar medium (ISM) remain unclear. Using unprecedentedly high-resolution 3D magnetohydrodynamic simulations of thermally unstable turbulent systems, we show that large current sheets unstable to plasmoid-mediated reconnection form regularly throughout the volume. The plasmoids form in three distinct environments: (i) within cold clumps, (ii) at the asymmetric interface of the cold and warm phases, and (iii) within the warm, volume-filling phase. We then show that the complex magnetothermal phase structure is characterized by a predominantly highly magnetized cold phase, but that regions of high magnetic curvature, which are the sites of reconnection, span a broad range in temperature. Furthermore, we show that thermal instabilities change the scale-dependent anisotropy of the turbulent magnetic field, reducing the increase in eddy elongation at smaller scales. Finally, we show that most of the mass is contained in one contiguous cold structure surrounded by smaller clumps that follow a scale-free mass distribution. These clumps tend to be highly elongated and exhibit a size versus internal velocity relation consistent with supersonic turbulence and a relative clump distance–velocity scaling consistent with subsonic motion.more »We discuss the striking similarity of cold plasmoids to observed tiny-scale atomic and ionized structures and H i fibers and consider how the presence of plasmoids will modify the motion of charged particles, thereby impacting cosmic-ray transport and thermal conduction in the ISM and other similar systems.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2024

    The coalescence of two neutron stars is accompanied by the emission of gravitational waves, and can also feature electromagnetic counterparts powered by mass ejecta and the formation of a relativistic jet after the merger. Since neutron stars can feature strong magnetic fields, the non-trivial interaction of the neutron star magnetospheres might fuel potentially powerful electromagnetic transients prior to merger. A key process powering those precursor transients is relativistic reconnection in strong current sheets formed between the two stars. In this work, we provide a detailed analysis of how the twisting of the common magnetosphere of the binary leads to an emission of electromagnetic flares, akin to those produced in the solar corona. By means of relativistic force-free electrodynamics simulations, we clarify the role of different magnetic field topologies in the process. We conclude that flaring will always occur for suitable magnetic field alignments, unless one of the neutron stars has a magnetic field significantly weaker than the other.


    Astrophysical objects possessing a material surface (white dwarfs, young stars, etc.) may accrete gas from the disc through the so-called surface boundary layer (BL), in which the angular velocity of the accreting gas experiences a sharp drop. Acoustic waves excited by the supersonic shear in the BL play an important role in mediating the angular momentum and mass transport through that region. Here we examine the characteristics of the angular momentum transport produced by the different types of wave modes emerging in the inner disc, using the results of a large suite of hydrodynamic simulations of the BLs. We provide a comparative analysis of the transport properties of different modes across the range of relevant disc parameters. In particular, we identify the types of modes that are responsible for the mass accretion on to the central object. We find the correlated perturbations of surface density and radial velocity to provide an important contribution to the mass accretion rate. Although the wave-driven transport is intrinsically non-local, we do observe a clear correlation between the angular momentum flux injected into the disc by the waves and the mass accretion rate through the BL. We find the efficiency of angular momentum transportmore »(normalized by thermal pressure) to be a weak function of the flow Mach number. We also quantify the wave-driven evolution of the inner disc, in particular the modification of the angular frequency profile in the disc. Our results pave the way for understanding wave-mediated transport in future three-dimensional, magnetohydrodynamic studies of the BLs.

    « less
  6. Abstract

    The most common form of magnetar activity is short X-ray bursts, with durations from milliseconds to seconds, and luminosities ranging from 1036–1043erg s−1. Recently, an X-ray burst from the galactic magnetar SGR 1935+2154 was detected to be coincident with two fast radio burst (FRB) like events from the same source, providing evidence that FRBs may be linked to magnetar bursts. Using fully 3D force-free electrodynamics simulations, we show that such magnetar bursts may be produced by Alfvén waves launched from localized magnetar quakes: a wave packet propagates to the outer magnetosphere, becomes nonlinear, and escapes the magnetosphere, forming an ultra-relativistic ejecta. The ejecta pushes open the magnetospheric field lines, creating current sheets behind it. Magnetic reconnection can happen at these current sheets, leading to plasma energization and X-ray emission. The angular size of the ejecta can be compact, ≲1 sr if the quake launching region is small, ≲0.01 sr at the stellar surface. We discuss implications for the FRBs and the coincident X-ray burst from SGR 1935+2154.