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Simulation of Relativistic Shocks and Associated Radiation from Turbulent Magnetic Fields

By M. Medvedev, Y. Mizuno, B. Zhang, K.-I. Nishikawa, J. Niemiec, M. Pohl, H. Sol, J. Frederiksen, A. Nordlund, J. F. Fishman, D. H. Hartmann and P. Hardee


Plasma instabilities excited in collisionless shocks are responsible for particle acceleration. We have investigated the particle acceleration and shock structure associated with an unmagnetized relativistic electron-positron jet propagating into an unmagnetized electron-positron plasma. Cold jet electrons are thermalized and slowed while the ambient electrons are swept up to create a partially developed hydrodynamic-like shock structure. In the leading shock, electron density increases by a factor of about 3.5 in the simulation frame. Strong electromagnetic fields are generated in the trailing shock and provide an emission site. These magnetic fields contribute to the electron's transverse deflection behind the shock. The jitter'' radiation from deflected electrons in turbulent magnetic fields has different properties than synchrotron radiation, which is calculated in a uniform magnetic field. This jitter radiation may be important for understanding the complex time evolution and/or spectral structure in gamma-ray bursts, relativistic jets in general, and supernova remnants. New spectra based on simulations will be presented

Topics: Nuclear Physics
Year: 2009
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