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    Cosmic rays (CRs) are thought to escape their sources streaming along the local magnetic field lines. We show that this phenomenon generally leads to the excitation of both resonant and non-resonant streaming instabilities. The self-generated magnetic fluctuations induce particle diffusion in extended regions around the source, so that CRs build up a large pressure gradient. By means of two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) hybrid particle-in-cell simulations, we show that such a pressure gradient excavates a cavity around the source and leads to the formation of a cosmic ray dominated bubble, inside which diffusivity is strongly suppressed. Based on the trends extracted from self-consistent simulations, we estimate that, in the absence of severe damping of the self-generated magnetic fields, the bubble should keep expanding until pressure balance with the surrounding medium is reached, corresponding to a radius of ∼10–50 pc. The implications of the formation of these regions of low diffusivity for sources of Galactic CRs are discussed. Special care is devoted to estimating the self-generated diffusion coefficient and the grammage that CRs might accumulate in the bubbles before moving into the interstellar medium. Based on the results of 3D simulations, general considerations on the morphology of the γ-ray and synchrotronmore »emission from these extended regions also are outlined.

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  2. Abstract A strong super-Alfvénic drift of energetic particles (or cosmic rays) in a magnetized plasma can amplify the magnetic field significantly through nonresonant streaming instability (NRSI). While the traditional analysis is done for an ion current, here we use kinetic particle-in-cell simulations to study how the NRSI behaves when it is driven by electrons or by a mixture of electrons and positrons. In particular, we characterize the growth rate, spectrum, and helicity of the unstable modes, as well the level of the magnetic field at saturation. Our results are potentially relevant for several space/astrophysical environments (e.g., electron strahl in the solar wind, at oblique nonrelativistic shocks, around pulsar wind nebulae), and also in laboratory experiments.
  3. ABSTRACT Shocks waves are a ubiquitous feature of many astrophysical plasma systems, and an important process for energy dissipation and transfer. The physics of these shock waves are frequently treated/modelled as a collisional, fluid magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) discontinuity, despite the fact that many shocks occur in the collisionless regime. In light of this, using fully kinetic, 3D simulations of non-relativistic, parallel propagating collisionless shocks comprised of electron-positron plasma, we detail the deviation of collisionless shocks form MHD predictions for varying magnetization/Alfvénic Mach numbers, with particular focus on systems with Alfénic Mach numbers much smaller than sonic Mach numbers. We show that the shock compression ratio decreases for sufficiently large upstream magnetic fields, in agreement with theoretical predictions from previous works. Additionally, we examine the role of magnetic field strength on the shock front width. This work reinforces a growing body of work that suggest that modelling many astrophysical systems with only a fluid plasma description omits potentially important physics.
  4. The recent discoveries in the theory of diffusive shock acceleration (DSA) that stem from first-principle kinetic plasma simulations are discussed. When ion acceleration is efficient, the back-reaction of non-thermal particles and self-generated magnetic fields becomes prominent and leads to both enhanced shock compression and particle spectra significantly softer than the standard test-particle DSA theory. These results are discussed in the context of the non-thermal phenomenology of astrophysical shocks, with a special focus on the supernova remnant SN1006.
  5. Using fully-kinetic plasma simulations, we study the non-resonant (Bell) streaming instability driven by energetic leptons. We identify the necessary conditions to drive it and the differences from the standard proton-driven case in both linear and saturated stages. A simple analytic theory is presented to explain simulations. Our findings are crucial for understanding the phenomenology of astrophysical environments where only electrons may be accelerated (e.g., oblique shocks) or where relativistic pairs are produced (e.g., around pulsar wind nebulae).
  6. Cosmic rays leave their sources mainly along the local magnetic field present in the region around the source and in doing so they excite both resonant and non-resonant modes through streaming instabilities. The excitation of these modes leads to enhanced particle scattering and in turn to a large pressure gradient that causes the formation of expanding bubbles of gas and self-generated magnetic fields. By means of hybrid particle-in-cell simulations, we demonstrate that, by exciting this instability, cosmic rays excavate a cavity around their source where the diffusivity is strongly suppressed. This phenomenon is general and is expected to occur around any sufficiently powerful cosmic ray source in the Galaxy. Our results are consistent with recent γ-ray observations where emission from the region around supernova remnants and stellar clusters have been used to infer that the diffusion coefficient around these sources is ∼10−100 times smaller than the typical Galactic one.
  7. The nonresonant cosmic ray instability, predicted by Bell (2004), is thought to play an important role in the acceleration and confinement of cosmic rays (CR) close to supernova remnants. Despite its importance, the exact mechanism responsible for the saturation of the instability has not been determined, and there is no first-principle prediction for the amplitude of the saturated magnetic field. Using a survey of self-consistent hybrid simulations (with kinetic ions and fluid electrons), we study the non-linear evolution of the Bell instability as a function of the parameters of the CR population. We find that saturation is achieved when the magnetic pressure in the amplified field is comparable to the initial CR momentum flux.