skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: The extent of power-law energy spectra in collisionless relativistic magnetic reconnection in pair plasma

Abstract

Using two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations, we characterize the energy spectra of particles accelerated by relativistic magnetic reconnection (without guide field) in collisionless electron–positron plasmas, for a wide range of upstream magnetizations σ and system sizes L. The particle spectra are well-represented by a power law $${\gamma }^{-\alpha }$$, with a combination of exponential and super-exponential high-energy cutoffs, proportional to σ and L, respectively. As a result, for large L and σ, the power-law index α approaches about 1.2.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [4]
  1. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
  2. Princeton Univ., Princeton, NJ (United States)
  3. Univ. of Colorado and National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, CO (United States); Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA (United States); SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
  4. Univ. of Colorado and National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
OSTI Identifier:
1261075
Report Number(s):
SLAC-PUB-16599
Journal ID: ISSN 2041-8213; arXiv:1409.8262
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-76SF00515
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal. Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 816; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-8213
Publisher:
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; astrophysics; ASTRO; acceleration of particles; galaxies: jets; gamma-ray burst: general; magnetic reconnection; pulsars: general; relativistic processes

Citation Formats

Werner, G. R., Uzdensky, D. A., Cerutti, B., Nalewajko, K., and Begelman, M. C. The extent of power-law energy spectra in collisionless relativistic magnetic reconnection in pair plasma. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.3847/2041-8205/816/1/L8.
Werner, G. R., Uzdensky, D. A., Cerutti, B., Nalewajko, K., & Begelman, M. C. The extent of power-law energy spectra in collisionless relativistic magnetic reconnection in pair plasma. United States. doi:10.3847/2041-8205/816/1/L8.
Werner, G. R., Uzdensky, D. A., Cerutti, B., Nalewajko, K., and Begelman, M. C. Wed . "The extent of power-law energy spectra in collisionless relativistic magnetic reconnection in pair plasma". United States. doi:10.3847/2041-8205/816/1/L8. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1261075.
@article{osti_1261075,
title = {The extent of power-law energy spectra in collisionless relativistic magnetic reconnection in pair plasma},
author = {Werner, G. R. and Uzdensky, D. A. and Cerutti, B. and Nalewajko, K. and Begelman, M. C.},
abstractNote = {Using two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations, we characterize the energy spectra of particles accelerated by relativistic magnetic reconnection (without guide field) in collisionless electron–positron plasmas, for a wide range of upstream magnetizations σ and system sizes L. The particle spectra are well-represented by a power law ${\gamma }^{-\alpha }$, with a combination of exponential and super-exponential high-energy cutoffs, proportional to σ and L, respectively. As a result, for large L and σ, the power-law index α approaches about 1.2.},
doi = {10.3847/2041-8205/816/1/L8},
journal = {The Astrophysical Journal. Letters},
number = 1,
volume = 816,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {12}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 24 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Gamma-Ray Flares from the Crab Nebula
journal, January 2011


Fast Magnetic Reconnection and Particle Acceleration in Relativistic Low-Density Electron-Positron Plasmas Without Guide Field
journal, April 2012


Plasma self-heating and saturation due to numerical instabilities
journal, June 1980


Extreme Particle Acceleration in Magnetic Reconnection Layers: Application to the Gamma-Ray Flares in the crab Nebula
journal, February 2012

  • Cerutti, Benoît; Uzdensky, Dmitri A.; Begelman, Mitchell C.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 746, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/746/2/148

Beaming and Rapid Variability of High-Energy Radiation from Relativistic pair Plasma Reconnection
journal, July 2012


Simulations of Particle Acceleration Beyond the Classical Synchrotron Burnoff Limit in Magnetic Reconnection: an Explanation of the crab Flares
journal, June 2013


Gamma-ray flares in the Crab Nebula: A case of relativistic reconnection?
journal, May 2014

  • Cerutti, B.; Werner, G. R.; Uzdensky, D. A.
  • Physics of Plasmas, Vol. 21, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.4872024

Three-Dimensional Relativistic pair Plasma Reconnection with Radiative Feedback in the crab Nebula
journal, February 2014


Magnetically striped relativistic magnetohydrodynamic winds - The Crab Nebula revisited
journal, January 1990

  • Coroniti, F. V.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 349
  • DOI: 10.1086/168340

The mechanisms of electron heating and acceleration during magnetic reconnection
journal, September 2014

  • Dahlin, J. T.; Drake, J. F.; Swisdak, M.
  • Physics of Plasmas, Vol. 21, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.4894484

Electron acceleration from contracting magnetic islands during reconnection
journal, October 2006


Efficient acceleration and radiation in Poynting flux powered GRB outflows
journal, August 2002


Spectral and timing properties of a dissipative $\vec\gamma$-ray burst photosphere
journal, March 2007


Fast TeV variability in blazars: jets in a jet
journal, May 2009

  • Giannios, Dimitrios; Uzdensky, Dmitri A.; Begelman, Mitchell C.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, Vol. 395, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-3933.2009.00635.x

Formation of Hard Power Laws in the Energetic Particle Spectra Resulting from Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection
journal, October 2014


Relativistic Reconnection and Particle Acceleration
journal, September 2012


Fast reconnection in relativistic pair plasmas: Analysis of particle acceleration in self-consistent full particle simulations
journal, March 2004

  • Jaroschek, C. H.; Treumann, R. A.; Lesch, H.
  • Physics of Plasmas, Vol. 11, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.1644814

Phase diagram for magnetic reconnection in heliophysical, astrophysical, and laboratory plasmas
journal, November 2011

  • Ji, Hantao; Daughton, William
  • Physics of Plasmas, Vol. 18, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.3647505

A flux rope Network and Particle Acceleration in Three-Dimensional Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection
journal, August 2013

  • Kagan, Daniel; Milosavljević, Miloš; Spitkovsky, Anatoly
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 774, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/774/1/41

Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection in Pair Plasmas and Its Astrophysical Applications
journal, January 2015


Dissipation in Poynting‐Flux–dominated Flows: The σ‐Problem of the Crab Pulsar Wind
journal, July 2003

  • Kirk, J. G.; Skjaraasen, O.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 591, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/375215

Lepton Acceleration by Relativistic Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection
journal, March 2003

  • Larrabee, D. A.; Lovelace, R. V. E.; Romanova, M. M.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 586, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/367640

Particle energization in 3D magnetic reconnection of relativistic pair plasmas
journal, May 2011

  • Liu, Wei; Li, Hui; Yin, Lin
  • Physics of Plasmas, Vol. 18, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.3589304

Scaling of Magnetic Reconnection in Relativistic Collisionless Pair Plasmas
journal, March 2015


X -Point Collapse and Saturation in the Nonlinear Tearing Mode Reconnection
journal, November 2005


Instability of current sheets and formation of plasmoid chains
journal, October 2007

  • Loureiro, N. F.; Schekochihin, A. A.; Cowley, S. C.
  • Physics of Plasmas, Vol. 14, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.2783986

Reconnection in a Striped Pulsar Wind
journal, January 2001

  • Lyubarsky, Y.; Kirk, J. G.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 547, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/318354

Particle Acceleration in the Driven Relativistic Reconnection
journal, August 2008

  • Lyubarsky, Yuri; Liverts, Michael
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 682, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/589640

A reconnection switch to trigger gamma-ray burst jet dissipation: GRB reconnection switch
journal, November 2011


The energetics of relativistic magnetic reconnection: ion-electron repartition and particle distribution hardness
journal, October 2014


Radiative properties of reconnection-powered minijets in blazars: Radiative properties of minijets
journal, February 2011

  • Nalewajko, Krzysztof; Giannios, Dimitrios; Begelman, Mitchell C.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 413, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.18140.x

VORPAL: a versatile plasma simulation code
journal, May 2004


Electron Acceleration by Multi-Island Coalescence
journal, April 2010


Plasmoid-induced-reconnection and fractal reconnection
journal, June 2001

  • Shibata, Kazunari; Tanuma, Syuniti
  • Earth, Planets and Space, Vol. 53, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1186/BF03353258

Acceleration of Particles at the Termination Shock of a Relativistic Striped wind
journal, October 2011


Relativistic Reconnection: an Efficient Source of Non-Thermal Particles
journal, February 2014


Discovery of Powerful Gamma-Ray Flares from the Crab Nebula
journal, January 2011


Reconnection-Powered Linear Accelerator and Gamma-Ray Flares in the crab Nebula
journal, August 2011

  • Uzdensky, Dmitri A.; Cerutti, Benoît; Begelman, Mitchell C.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 737, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/737/2/L40

Fast Magnetic Reconnection in the Plasmoid-Dominated Regime
journal, December 2010


Physical Conditions in the Reconnection Layer in Pulsar Magnetospheres
journal, December 2013


The Generation of Nonthermal Particles in the Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection of Pair Plasmas
journal, November 2001

  • Zenitani, S.; Hoshino, M.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 562, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/337972

Relativistic Particle Acceleration in a Folded Current Sheet
journal, December 2004

  • Zenitani, S.; Hoshino, M.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 618, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/427873

Particle Acceleration and Magnetic Dissipation in Relativistic Current Sheet of Pair Plasmas
journal, November 2007

  • Zenitani, S.; Hoshino, M.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 670, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/522226

The Role of the Guide Field in Relativistic Pair Plasma Reconnection
journal, April 2008

  • Zenitani, S.; Hoshino, M.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 677, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/528708

Magnetic Reconnection in Astrophysical and Laboratory Plasmas
journal, September 2009


    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Particle acceleration during magnetic reconnection in a low-beta pair plasma
    journal, May 2016

    • Guo, Fan; Li, Hui; Daughton, William
    • Physics of Plasmas, Vol. 23, Issue 5
    • DOI: 10.1063/1.4948284