6,020 research outputs found

    New insights on hadron acceleration at supernova remnant shocks

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    We outline the main features of nuclei acceleration at supernova remnant forward shocks, stressing the crucial role played by self-amplified magnetic fields in determining the energy spectrum observed in this class of sources. In particular, we show how the standard predictions of the non-linear theory of diffusive shock acceleration has to be completed with an additional ingredient, which we propose to be the enhanced velocity of the magnetic irregularities particles scatter against, to reconcile the theory of efficient particle acceleration with recent observations of gamma-ray bright supernova remnants.Comment: 7 pages, 2 figures. To apper in "Cosmic-ray induced phenomenology in star-forming environments: Proceedings of the 2nd Session of the Sant Cugat Forum of Astrophysics" (April 16-19, 2012), Olaf Reimer and Diego F. Torres (eds.

    Fermi acceleration at supernova remnant shocks

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    We investigate the physics of particle acceleration at non-relativistic shocks exploiting two different and complementary approaches, namely a semi-analytic modeling of cosmic-ray modified shocks and large hybrid (kinetic protons/fluid electrons) simulations. The former technique allows us to extract some information from the multi-wavelength observations of supernova remnants, especially in the gamma-ray band, while the latter returns fundamental insights into the details of particle injection and magnetic field amplification via plasma instabilities. In particular, we present the results of large hybrid simulations of non-relativistic shocks, discussing the properties of the transition from the thermal to the non-thermal component, the spectrum of which turns out to be the power-law predicted by first-order Fermi acceleration. Along with a rather effective magnetic field amplification, we find that more than 20% of the bulk energy is converted in non-thermal particles, altering significantly the dynamics of the shock and leading to the formation of a precursor.Comment: 4 pages, 1 figure - Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium on High-Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy - Heidelberg, Germany, July 9-13th, 201

    Cosmic-ray Acceleration and Propagation

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    The origin of cosmic rays (CRs) has puzzled scientists since the pioneering discovery by Victor Hess in 1912. In the last decade, however, modern supercomputers have opened a new window on the processes regulating astrophysical collisionless plasmas, allowing the study of CR acceleration via first-principles kinetic simulations. At the same time, a new-generation of X-ray and ╬│\gamma-ray telescopes has been collecting evidence that Galactic CRs are accelerated in the blast waves of supernova remnants (SNRs). I present state-of-the-art particle-in-cells simulations of non-relativistic shocks, in which ion and electron acceleration efficiency and magnetic field amplification are studied in detail as a function of the shock parameters. I then discuss the theoretical and observational counterparts of these findings, comparing them with predictions of diffusive shock acceleration theory and with multi-wavelength observations of young SNRs. I especially outline some major open questions, such as the possible causes of the steep CR spectra inferred from ╬│\gamma-ray observations of SNRs and the origin of the knee in the Galactic CR spectrum. Finally, I put such a theoretical understanding in relation with CR propagation in the Galaxy in order to bridge the gap between acceleration in sources and measurements of CRs at Earth.Comment: 24 pages, 7 figures, Invited Review Talk at the 34th International Cosmic Ray Conference, The Hague, The Netherland

    Non-linear diffusive acceleration of heavy nuclei in supernova remnant shocks

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    We describe a semi-analytical approach to non-linear diffusive shock acceleration in the case in which nuclei other than protons are also accelerated. The structure of the shock is determined by the complex interplay of all nuclei, and in turn this shock structure determines the spectra of all components. The magnetic field amplification upstream is described as due to streaming instability of all nuclear species. The amplified magnetic field is then taken into account for its dynamical feedback on the shock structure as well as in terms of the induced modification of the velocity of the scattering centers that enters the particle transport equation. The spectra of accelerated particles are steep enough to be compared with observed cosmic ray spectra only if the magnetic field is sufficiently amplified and the scattering centers have high speed in the frame of the background plasma. We discuss the implications of this generalized approach on the structure of the knee in the all-particle cosmic ray spectrum, which we interpret as due to an increasingly heavier chemical composition above 101510^{15}eV. The effects of a non trivial chemical composition at the sources on the gamma ray emission from a supernova remnant when gamma rays are of hadronic origin are also discussed.Comment: 23 pages, 5 figures, minor changes to reflect the published versio

    Simulations of Ion Acceleration at Non-relativistic Shocks. I. Acceleration Efficiency

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    We use 2D and 3D hybrid (kinetic ions - fluid electrons) simulations to investigate particle acceleration and magnetic field amplification at non-relativistic astrophysical shocks. We show that diffusive shock acceleration operates for quasi-parallel configurations (i.e., when the background magnetic field is almost aligned with the shock normal) and, for large sonic and Alfv\'enic Mach numbers, produces universal power-law spectra proportional to p^(-4), where p is the particle momentum. The maximum energy of accelerated ions increases with time, and it is only limited by finite box size and run time. Acceleration is mainly efficient for parallel and quasi-parallel strong shocks, where 10-20% of the bulk kinetic energy can be converted to energetic particles, and becomes ineffective for quasi-perpendicular shocks. Also, the generation of magnetic turbulence correlates with efficient ion acceleration, and vanishes for quasi-perpendicular configurations. At very oblique shocks, ions can be accelerated via shock drift acceleration, but they only gain a factor of a few in momentum, and their maximum energy does not increase with time. These findings are consistent with the degree of polarization and the morphology of the radio and X-ray synchrotron emission observed, for instance, in the remnant of SN 1006. We also discuss the transition from thermal to non-thermal particles in the ion spectrum (supra-thermal region), and we identify two dynamical signatures peculiar of efficient particle acceleration, namely the formation of an upstream precursor and the alteration of standard shock jump conditions.Comment: 21 pages, 14 figures, Minor changes reflecting the version accepted to Ap
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