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Title: Particle Acceleration in Relativistic Plasma Turbulence

Abstract

Due to its ubiquitous presence, turbulence is often invoked to explain the origin of nonthermal particles in astrophysical sources of high-energy emission. With particle-in-cell simulations, we study decaying turbulence in magnetically dominated (or, equivalently, “relativistic”) pair plasmas. We find that the generation of a power-law particle energy spectrum is a generic by-product of relativistic turbulence. The power-law slope is harder for higher magnetizations and stronger turbulence levels. In large systems, the slope attains an asymptotic, system-size-independent value, while the high-energy spectral cutoff increases linearly with system size; both the slope and the cutoff do not depend on the dimensionality of our domain. By following a large sample of particles, we show that particle injection happens at reconnecting current sheets; the injected particles are then further accelerated by stochastic interactions with turbulent fluctuations. Our results have important implications for the origin of nonthermal particles in high-energy astrophysical sources.

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. Columbia Univ., New York, NY (United States). Columbia Astrophysics Lab.
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1544144
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1488637
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0016542
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 121; Journal Issue: 25; Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY

Citation Formats

Comisso, Luca, and Sironi, Lorenzo. Particle Acceleration in Relativistic Plasma Turbulence. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.255101.
Comisso, Luca, & Sironi, Lorenzo. Particle Acceleration in Relativistic Plasma Turbulence. United States. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.255101
Comisso, Luca, and Sironi, Lorenzo. Thu . "Particle Acceleration in Relativistic Plasma Turbulence". United States. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.255101. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1544144.
@article{osti_1544144,
title = {Particle Acceleration in Relativistic Plasma Turbulence},
author = {Comisso, Luca and Sironi, Lorenzo},
abstractNote = {Due to its ubiquitous presence, turbulence is often invoked to explain the origin of nonthermal particles in astrophysical sources of high-energy emission. With particle-in-cell simulations, we study decaying turbulence in magnetically dominated (or, equivalently, “relativistic”) pair plasmas. We find that the generation of a power-law particle energy spectrum is a generic by-product of relativistic turbulence. The power-law slope is harder for higher magnetizations and stronger turbulence levels. In large systems, the slope attains an asymptotic, system-size-independent value, while the high-energy spectral cutoff increases linearly with system size; both the slope and the cutoff do not depend on the dimensionality of our domain. By following a large sample of particles, we show that particle injection happens at reconnecting current sheets; the injected particles are then further accelerated by stochastic interactions with turbulent fluctuations. Our results have important implications for the origin of nonthermal particles in high-energy astrophysical sources.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.255101},
journal = {Physical Review Letters},
number = 25,
volume = 121,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {12}
}

Journal Article:

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Cited by: 7 works
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