Relativistic electron shock drift acceleration in low mach number galaxy cluster shocks

S. Matsukiyo, Y. Ohira, R. Yamazaki, T. Umeda

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    27 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    An extreme case of electron shock drift acceleration (SDA) in low Mach number collisionless shocks is investigated as a plausible mechanism for the initial acceleration of relativistic electrons in large-scale shocks in galaxy clusters, where the upstream plasma temperature is of the order of 10 keV and the degree of magnetization is not too small. One-dimensional electromagnetic full particle simulations reveal that, even when a shock is rather moderate, a part of the thermal incoming electrons are accelerated and reflected through relativistic SDA and form a local non-thermal population just upstream of the shock. The accelerated electrons can self-generate local coherent waves and further be back-scattered toward the shock by those waves. This may be a scenario for the first stage of the electron shock acceleration occurring at the large-scale shocks in galaxy clusters, such as CIZA J2242.8+5301, which have well-defined radio relics.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number47
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Volume742
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 20 2011

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Space and Planetary Science

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