Transport of magnetic turbulence in supernova remnants
1 DESY, 15738 Zeuthen, Germany
2 Institute of Physics and Astronomy, University of Potsdam, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
Accepted: 4 June 2016
Context. Supernova remnants are known as sources of Galactic cosmic rays for their nonthermal emission of radio waves, X-rays, and gamma rays. However, the observed soft broken power-law spectra are hard to reproduce within standard acceleration theory based on the assumption of Bohm diffusion and steady-state calculations.
Aims. We point out that a time-dependent treatment of the acceleration process together with a self-consistent treatment of the scattering turbulence amplification is necessary.
Methods. We numerically solve the coupled system of transport equations for cosmic rays and isotropic Alfvénic turbulence. The equations are coupled through the growth rate of turbulence determined by the cosmic-ray gradient and the spatial diffusion coefficient of cosmic rays determined by the energy density of the turbulence. The system is solved on a comoving expanding grid extending upstream for dozens of shock radii, allowing for the self-consistent study of cosmic-ray diffusion in the vicinity of their acceleration site. The transport equation for cosmic rays is solved in a test-particle approach.
Results. We demonstrate that the system is typically not in a steady state. In fact, even after several thousand years of evolution, no equilibrium situation is reached. The resulting time-dependent particle spectra strongly differ from those derived assuming a steady state and Bohm diffusion. Our results indicate that proper accounting for the evolution of the scattering turbulence and hence the particle diffusion coefficient is crucial for the formation of the observed soft spectra. In any case, the need to continuously develop magnetic turbulence upstream of the shock introduces nonlinearity in addition to that imposed by cosmic-ray feedback.
Key words: ISM: supernova remnants / acceleration of particles / turbulence
© ESO, 2016