Journal Article

Stochastic electron acceleration in the TeV supernova remnant RX J1713.7−3946: the high-energy cut-off

Zhonghui Fan, Siming Liu and Christopher L. Fryer

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 406, issue 2, pages 1337-1349
Published in print August 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.16767.x
Stochastic electron acceleration in the TeV supernova remnant RX J1713.7−3946: the high-energy cut-off

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In the leptonic scenario for TeV emission from a few well-observed shell-type TeV supernova remnants (STTSNRs), very weak magnetic fields are inferred. If fast-mode waves are produced efficiently in the shock downstream, we show that they are viable agents for acceleration of relativistic electrons inferred from the observed spectra even in the subsonic phase, in spite that these waves are subject to strong damping by thermal background ions at small dissipation scales. Strong collisionless non-relativistic astrophysical shocks are studied with the assumption of a constant Alfvén speed in the downstream. The turbulence evolution is modelled with both the Kolmogorov and Kraichnan phenomenology. Processes determining the high-energy cut-off of non-thermal electron distributions are examined. The Kraichnan models lead to a shallower high-energy cut-off of the electron distribution and require a lower downstream density than the Kolmogorov models to fit a given emission spectrum. With reasonable parameters, the model explains observations of STTSNRs, including recent data obtained with the Fermiγ-ray telescope. More detailed studies of the turbulence generation and dissipation processes, supernova explosions and progenitors are warranted for better understanding of the nature of supernova shocks.

Keywords: acceleration of particles; MHD; plasmas; shock waves; turbulence; ISM: supernova remnants

Journal Article.  10208 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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