Self-consistent studies of electron acceleration to ultrarelativistic energies by upper hybrid waves

M. E. Dieckmann, B. Eliasson, P. K. Shukla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

When electrons that are trapped by strong electrostatic waves are carried across a magnetic field, the Lorentz force can in principle accelerate them to ultrahigh energies. This wave accelerator known as the electron surfing acceleration is thus a potential generation mechanism for ultrarelativistic electrons at astrophysical shocks. Here, we present for the first time a self-consistent simulation that follows the growth and saturation of strong electrostatic waves that are triggered by proton beams moving at relativistic speeds relative to a background plasma. We find in our simulation that proton beams moving at a Lorentz factor of 7 can accelerate electrons to 1 GeV by means of electron surfing acceleration. Thereafter the wave collapses, and it scatters some electrons to energies in excess of 10 GeV. The plasma charge density modulations give rise to a strong growth of the fast extraordinary (X) wave in frequency intervals for which its group velocity is comparable to the beam speed.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1361-1370
Number of pages10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume617
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2004

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electron acceleration
electron
electrostatic waves
proton beams
energy
electrons
Lorentz force
group velocity
plasma
astrophysics
accelerators
simulation
shock
intervals
saturation
modulation
magnetic fields
magnetic field

Keywords

  • upper hybrid waves
  • surfing acceleration
  • electron heating

Cite this

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abstract = "When electrons that are trapped by strong electrostatic waves are carried across a magnetic field, the Lorentz force can in principle accelerate them to ultrahigh energies. This wave accelerator known as the electron surfing acceleration is thus a potential generation mechanism for ultrarelativistic electrons at astrophysical shocks. Here, we present for the first time a self-consistent simulation that follows the growth and saturation of strong electrostatic waves that are triggered by proton beams moving at relativistic speeds relative to a background plasma. We find in our simulation that proton beams moving at a Lorentz factor of 7 can accelerate electrons to 1 GeV by means of electron surfing acceleration. Thereafter the wave collapses, and it scatters some electrons to energies in excess of 10 GeV. The plasma charge density modulations give rise to a strong growth of the fast extraordinary (X) wave in frequency intervals for which its group velocity is comparable to the beam speed.",
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Self-consistent studies of electron acceleration to ultrarelativistic energies by upper hybrid waves. / Dieckmann, M. E.; Eliasson, B.; Shukla, P. K.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 617, No. 2, 20.12.2004, p. 1361-1370.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Self-consistent studies of electron acceleration to ultrarelativistic energies by upper hybrid waves

AU - Dieckmann, M. E.

AU - Eliasson, B.

AU - Shukla, P. K.

PY - 2004/12/20

Y1 - 2004/12/20

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AB - When electrons that are trapped by strong electrostatic waves are carried across a magnetic field, the Lorentz force can in principle accelerate them to ultrahigh energies. This wave accelerator known as the electron surfing acceleration is thus a potential generation mechanism for ultrarelativistic electrons at astrophysical shocks. Here, we present for the first time a self-consistent simulation that follows the growth and saturation of strong electrostatic waves that are triggered by proton beams moving at relativistic speeds relative to a background plasma. We find in our simulation that proton beams moving at a Lorentz factor of 7 can accelerate electrons to 1 GeV by means of electron surfing acceleration. Thereafter the wave collapses, and it scatters some electrons to energies in excess of 10 GeV. The plasma charge density modulations give rise to a strong growth of the fast extraordinary (X) wave in frequency intervals for which its group velocity is comparable to the beam speed.

KW - upper hybrid waves

KW - surfing acceleration

KW - electron heating

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