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    We investigate how cosmic rays (CRs) affect thermal and hydrostatic stability of circumgalactic (CGM) gas, in simulations with both CR streaming and diffusion. Local thermal instability can be suppressed by CR-driven entropy mode propagation, in accordance with previous analytic work. However, there is only a narrow parameter regime where this operates, before CRs overheat the background gas. As mass dropout from thermal instability causes the background density and hence plasma β ≡ Pg/PB to fall, the CGM becomes globally unstable. At the cool disc-to-hot−halo interface, a sharp drop in density boosts Alfven speeds and CR gradients, driving a transition from diffusive to streaming transport. CR forces and heating strengthen, while countervailing gravitational forces and radiative cooling weaken, resulting in a loss of both hydrostatic and thermal equilibrium. In lower β haloes, CR heating drives a hot, single-phase diffuse wind with velocities v ∝ (theat/tff)−1, which exceeds the escape velocity when theat/tff ≲ 0.4. In higher β haloes, where the Alfven Mach number is higher, CR forces drive multi-phase winds with cool, dense fountain flows and significant turbulence. These flows are CR dominated due to ‘trapping’ of CRs by weak transverse B-fields, and have the highest mass loading factors. Thus, local thermal instability can result in winds or fountain flows where either the heat or momentum input of CRs dominates.

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    Astrophysical gases such as the interstellar-, circumgalactic-, or intracluster-medium are commonly multiphase, which poses the question of the structure of these systems. While there are many known processes leading to fragmentation of cold gas embedded in a (turbulent) hot medium, in this work, we focus on the reverse process: coagulation. This is often seen in wind-tunnel and shearing layer simulations, where cold gas fragments spontaneously coalesce. Using 2D and 3D hydrodynamical simulations, we find that sufficiently large (≫cstcool), perturbed cold gas clouds develop pulsations which ensure cold gas mass growth over an extended period of time (≫r/cs). This mass growth efficiently accelerates hot gas which in turn can entrain cold droplets, leading to coagulation. The attractive inverse square force between cold gas droplets has interesting parallels with gravity; the ‘monopole’ is surface area rather than mass. We develop a simple analytic model which reproduces our numerical findings.

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  3. Abstract

    While it is well known that cosmic rays (CRs) can gain energy from turbulence via second-order Fermi acceleration, how this energy transfer affects the turbulent cascade remains largely unexplored. Here, we show that damping and steepening of the compressive turbulent power spectrum are expected once the damping timetdampρv2/ĖCRECR1becomes comparable to the turbulent cascade time. Magnetohydrodynamic simulations of stirred compressive turbulence in a gas-CR fluid with diffusive CR transport show clear imprints of CR-induced damping, saturating atĖCRϵ˜, whereϵ˜is the turbulent energy input rate. In that case, almost all of the energy in large-scale motions is absorbed by CRs and does not cascade down to grid scale. Through a Hodge–Helmholtz decomposition, we confirm that purely compressive forcing can generate significant solenoidal motions, and we find preferential CR damping of the compressive component in simulations with diffusion and streaming, rendering small-scale turbulence largely solenoidal, with implications for thermal instability and proposed resonant scattering ofE≳ 300 GeV CRs by fast modes. When CR transport is streaming dominated, CRs also damp large-scale motions, with kinetic energy reduced by up to 1 order of magnitude in realisticECREgscenarios, but turbulence (with a reduced amplitude) still cascades down to small scales with the same power spectrum. Such large-scale damping implies that turbulent velocities obtained from the observed velocity dispersion may significantly underestimate turbulent forcing rates, i.e.,ϵ˜ρv3/L.

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    Understanding the survival, growth, and dynamics of cold gas is fundamental to galaxy formation. While there has been a plethora of work on ‘wind tunnel’ simulations that study such cold gas in winds, the infall of this gas under gravity is at least equally important, and fundamentally different since cold gas can never entrain. Instead, velocity shear increases and remains unrelenting. If these clouds are growing, they can experience a drag force due to the accretion of low-momentum gas, which dominates over ram pressure drag. This leads to subvirial terminal velocities, in line with observations. We develop simple analytic theory and predictions based on turbulent radiative mixing layers. We test these scalings in 3D hydrodynamic simulations, both for an artificial constant background and a more realistic stratified background. We find that the survival criterion for infalling gas is more stringent than in a wind, requiring that clouds grow faster than they are destroyed ($t_{\rm grow} \lt 4\, t_{\rm cc}$). This can be translated to a critical pressure, which for Milky Way-like conditions is $P \sim 3000 \, {k}_\mathrm{ B} \, {\rm K}\, {\rm cm}^{-3}$. Cold gas that forms via linear thermal instability (tcool/tff < 1) in planar geometry meets the survival threshold. In stratified environments, larger clouds need only survive infall until cooling becomes effective. We discuss applications to high-velocity clouds and filaments in galaxy clusters.

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    There is considerable evidence for widespread subsonic turbulence in galaxy clusters, most notably from Hitomi. Turbulence is often invoked to offset radiative losses in cluster cores, both by direct dissipation and by enabling turbulent heat diffusion. However, in a stratified medium, buoyancy forces oppose radial motions, making turbulence anisotropic. This can be quantified via the Froude number Fr, which decreases inward in clusters as stratification increases. We exploit analogies with MHD turbulence to show that wave–turbulence interactions increase cascade times and reduce dissipation rates ϵ ∝ Fr. Equivalently, for a given energy injection/dissipation rate ϵ, turbulent velocities u must be higher compared to Kolmogorov scalings. High-resolution hydrodynamic simulations show excellent agreement with the ϵ ∝ Fr scaling, which sets in for Fr ≲ 0.1. We also compare previously predicted scalings for the turbulent diffusion coefficient D ∝ Fr2 and find excellent agreement, for Fr ≲ 1. However, we find a different normalization, corresponding to stronger diffusive suppression by more than an order of magnitude. Our results imply that turbulent diffusion is more heavily suppressed by stratification, over a much wider radial range, than turbulent dissipation. Thus, the latter potentially dominates. Furthermore, this shift implies significantly higher turbulent velocities required to offset cooling, compared to previous models. These results are potentially relevant to turbulent metal diffusion in the galaxy groups and clusters (which is likewise suppressed), and to planetary atmospheres.

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  6. Abstract

    Subsonic, compressive turbulence transfers energy to cosmic rays (CRs), a process known as nonresonant reacceleration. It is often invoked to explain the observed ratios of primary to secondary CRs at ∼GeV energies, assuming wholly diffusive CR transport. However, such estimates ignore the impact of CR self-confinement and streaming. We study these issues in stirring box magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations using Athena++, with field-aligned diffusive and streaming CR transport. For diffusion only, we find CR reacceleration rates in good agreement with analytic predictions. When streaming is included, reacceleration rates depend on plasmaβ. Due to streaming-modified phase shifts between CR and gas variables, they are slower than canonical reacceleration rates in low-βenvironments like the interstellar medium but remain unchanged in high-βenvironments like the intracluster medium. We also quantify the streaming energy-loss rate in our simulations. For sub-Alfvénic turbulence, it is resolution dependent (hence unconverged in large-scale simulations) and heavily suppressed compared to the isotropic loss ratevA· ∇PCR/PCRvA/L0, due to misalignment between the mean field and isotropic CR gradients. Unlike acceleration efficiencies, CR losses are almost independent of magnetic field strength overβ∼ 1–100 and are, therefore, not the primary factor behind lower acceleration rates when streaming is included. While this paper is primarily concerned with how turbulence affects CRs, in a follow-up paper we consider how CRs affect turbulence by diverting energy from the MHD cascade, altering the pathway to gas heating and steepening the turbulent spectrum.

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    Recently, cosmic rays (CRs) have emerged as a leading candidate for driving galactic winds. Small-scale processes can dramatically affect global wind properties. We run two-moment simulations of CR streaming to study how sound waves are driven unstable by phase-shifted CR forces and CR heating. We verify linear theory growth rates. As the sound waves grow non-linear, they steepen into a quasi-periodic series of propagating shocks; the density jumps at shocks create CR bottlenecks. The depth of a propagating bottleneck depends on both the density jump and its velocity; ΔPc is smaller for rapidly moving bottlenecks. A series of bottlenecks creates a CR staircase structure, which can be understood from a convex hull construction. The system reaches a steady state between growth of new perturbations, and stair mergers. CRs are decoupled at plateaus, but exert intense forces and heating at stair jumps. The absence of CR heating at plateaus leads to cooling, strong gas pressure gradients and further shocks. If bottlenecks are stationary, they can drastically modify global flows; if their propagation times are comparable to dynamical times, their effects on global momentum and energy transfer are modest. The CR acoustic instability is likely relevant in thermal interfaces between cold and hot gas, as well as galactic winds. Similar to increased opacity in radiative flows, the build-up of CR pressure due to bottlenecks can significantly increase mass outflow rates, by up to an order of magnitude. It seeds unusual forms of thermal instability, and the shocks could have distinct observational signatures, on ∼kpc scales.

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  8. ABSTRACT Cosmic ray (CR)-modified shocks are a demanding test of numerical codes. We use them to test and validate the two-moment method for CR hydrodynamics, as well as characterize the realism of CR shock acceleration in two-fluid simulations which inevitably arises. Previously, numerical codes were unable to incorporate streaming in this demanding regime, and have never been compared against analytic solutions. First, we find a new analytic solution highly discrepant in acceleration efficiency from the standard solution. It arises from bi-directional streaming of CRs away from the subshock, similar to a Zeldovich spike in radiative shocks. Since fewer CRs diffuse back upstream, this favours a much lower acceleration efficiency, typically ${\lesssim}10{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ (even for Mach number > 10) as opposed to ${\gtrsim}50{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ found in previous analytic work. At Mach number ≳10, the new solution bifurcates into three branches, with efficient, intermediate, and inefficient CR acceleration. Our two-moment code accurately recovers these solutions across the entire parameter space probed, with no ad hoc closure relations. For generic initial conditions, the inefficient branch is robustly chosen by the code; the intermediate branch is unstable. The preferred branch is very weakly modified by CRs. At high Mach numbers (≳10), the gas jump conditions approach that of a purely hydrodynamic shock, and a sub-grid prescription for thermal injection is required for reasonable acceleration efficiencies ${\sim}10{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$. CR-modified shocks have very long equilibration times (∼1000 diffusion time) required to develop the precursor, which must be resolved by ≳10 cells for convergence. Non-equilibrium effects, poor resolution, and obliquity of the magnetic field all reduce CR acceleration efficiency. Shocks in galaxy-scale simulations will generally contribute little to CR acceleration without sub-grid modification. 
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