Particles crossing repeatedly the surface of a shock wave can be energized by first order Fermi acceleration. The linear theory is successful in describing the acceleration process as long as the pressure of the accelerated particles remains negligible compared to the kinetic pressure of the incoming gas (the so-called test particle approximation). When this condition is no longer fulfilled, the shock is modified by the pressure of the accelerated particles in a nonlinear way, namely the spectrum of accelerated particles and the shock structure determine each other. In this paper we present the first description of the nonlinear regime of shock acceleration when the shock propagates in a medium where seed particles are already present. This case may apply for instance to supernova shocks propagating into the interstellar medium, where cosmic rays are in equipartition with the gas pressure. We find that the appearance of multiple solutions, previously found in alternative descriptions of the nonlinear regime, occurs also for the case of re-acceleration of seed particles. Moreover, for parameters of concern for supernova shocks, the shock is likely to turn nonlinear mainly due to the presence of the pre-existing cosmic rays, rather than due to the acceleration of new particles from the thermal pool. We investigate here the onset of the nonlinear regime for the three following cases: (1) seed particles in equipartition with the gas pressure; (2) particles accelerated from the thermal pool; (3) combination of (1) and (2). (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Nonlinear shock acceleration in the presence of seed particles

Blasi P
2004

Abstract

Particles crossing repeatedly the surface of a shock wave can be energized by first order Fermi acceleration. The linear theory is successful in describing the acceleration process as long as the pressure of the accelerated particles remains negligible compared to the kinetic pressure of the incoming gas (the so-called test particle approximation). When this condition is no longer fulfilled, the shock is modified by the pressure of the accelerated particles in a nonlinear way, namely the spectrum of accelerated particles and the shock structure determine each other. In this paper we present the first description of the nonlinear regime of shock acceleration when the shock propagates in a medium where seed particles are already present. This case may apply for instance to supernova shocks propagating into the interstellar medium, where cosmic rays are in equipartition with the gas pressure. We find that the appearance of multiple solutions, previously found in alternative descriptions of the nonlinear regime, occurs also for the case of re-acceleration of seed particles. Moreover, for parameters of concern for supernova shocks, the shock is likely to turn nonlinear mainly due to the presence of the pre-existing cosmic rays, rather than due to the acceleration of new particles from the thermal pool. We investigate here the onset of the nonlinear regime for the three following cases: (1) seed particles in equipartition with the gas pressure; (2) particles accelerated from the thermal pool; (3) combination of (1) and (2). (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12571/1369
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