Volume 580, August 2015
|Number of page(s)||12|
|Published online||31 July 2015|
Cosmic-ray acceleration at collisionless astrophysical shocks using Monte-Carlo simulations
Zentrum für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Technische Universität
Received: 16 February 2015
Accepted: 30 May 2015
Context. The diffusive shock acceleration mechanism has been widely accepted as the acceleration mechanism for galactic cosmic rays. While self-consistent hybrid simulations have shown how power-law spectra are produced, detailed information on the interplay of diffusive particle motion and the turbulent electromagnetic fields responsible for repeated shock crossings are still elusive.
Aims. The framework of test-particle theory is applied to investigate the effect of diffusive shock acceleration by inspecting the obtained cosmic-ray energy spectra. The resulting energy spectra can be obtained this way from the particle motion and, depending on the prescribed turbulence model, the influence of stochastic acceleration through plasma waves can be studied.
Methods. A numerical Monte-Carlo simulation code is extended to include collisionless shock waves. This allows one to trace the trajectories of test particle while they are being accelerated. In addition, the diffusion coefficients can be obtained directly from the particle motion, which allows for a detailed understanding of the acceleration process.
Results. The classic result of an energy spectrum with E-2 is only reproduced for parallel shocks, while, for all other cases, the energy spectral index is reduced depending on the shock obliqueness. Qualitatively, this can be explained in terms of the diffusion coefficients in the directions that are parallel and perpendicular to the shock front.
Key words: cosmic rays / plasmas / shock waves / turbulence / acceleration of particles / diffusion
© ESO, 2015
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