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Title: Particle acceleration at quasi-perpendicular shock waves: Theory and observations at 1 AU

The injection of particles into the diffusive shock acceleration mechanism at highly perpendicular (where θ {sub Bn} > 70°) interplanetary shocks is investigated. This extends the previous study of Neergaard Parker and Zank which focused on the injection problem at quasi-parallel interplanetary shocks. We use observations at 1 AU to construct upstream Maxwellian and κ-distributions that are then diffusively accelerated by the shock, thus yielding the downstream accelerated particle distribution. We compare the theoretical accelerated particle distribution to observations at 1 AU using Advanced Composition Explorer data. We classify our results for quasi-perpendicular shocks into three subcategories: those with ratios of the theoretical spectral index to observed power law of >1, ∼ 1, and <1, and compare the magnetic power spectral density plots of these categories. We find that in general the assumed upstream particle distribution that best fits the energetic particle observations is best represented by a κ-distribution, with κ = 4. The magnetic field fluctuations were representative of quasi-perpendicular shocks and showed no particular bias toward our spectral ratio subcategories. The subcategory with spectral ratio <0.9 yielded the largest injection energies for all groups. In all but two of the cases in this study, there were enough particlesmore » in the solar wind thermal core to account for the accelerated distribution, thereby giving a lower limit to the required injection energy needed to diffusively accelerate particles at a quasi-perpendicular interplanetary shock. In the remaining two cases, an additional population of particles was required to match the appropriate amplitude of the spectral index. For these cases, we used a low energy (1-50 keV) v {sup –5} spectrum advocated by Fisk and Gloeckler.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research (CSPAR), Space Science Department, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35899 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22348024
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 782; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ACCELERATION; AMPLITUDES; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DISTRIBUTION; FLUCTUATIONS; INJECTION; INTERPLANETARY SPACE; MAGNETIC FIELDS; PLASMA; SHOCK WAVES; SOLAR WIND; SPECTRA; SPECTRAL DENSITY