Published in

Cambridge University Press (CUP), Journal of Plasma Physics, 3(84), 2018

DOI: 10.1017/s0022377818000478



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Diffusive shock re-acceleration

Journal article published in 2018 by Damiano Caprioli ORCID, Horace Zhang, Anatoly Spitkovsky
This paper was not found in any repository, but could be made available legally by the author.
This paper was not found in any repository, but could be made available legally by the author.

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We have performed two-dimensional hybrid simulations of non-relativistic collisionless shocks in the presence of pre-existing energetic particles (‘seeds’); such a study applies, for instance, to the re-acceleration of galactic cosmic rays (CRs) in supernova remnant (SNR) shocks and solar wind energetic particles in heliospheric shocks. Energetic particles can be effectively reflected and accelerated regardless of shock inclination via a process that we call diffusive shock re-acceleration. We find that re-accelerated seeds can drive the streaming instability in the shock upstream and produce effective magnetic field amplification. This can eventually trigger the injection of thermal protons even at oblique shocks that ordinarily cannot inject thermal particles. We characterize the current in reflected seeds, finding that it tends to a universal value $J≃ en_{\text{CR}}v_{\text{sh}}$, where $en_{\text{CR}}$ is the seed charge density and $v_{\text{sh}}$ is the shock velocity. When applying our results to SNRs, we find that the re-acceleration of galactic CRs can excite the Bell instability to nonlinear levels in less than ${∼}10~\text{yr}$, thereby providing a minimum level of magnetic field amplification for any SNR shock. Finally, we discuss the relevance of diffusive shock re-acceleration also for other environments, such as heliospheric shocks, galactic superbubbles and clusters of galaxies.

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