Journal Article

Structure of cosmic ray-modified perpendicular shocks

Maxim Lyutikov

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 407, issue 3, pages 1721-1727
Published in print September 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online September 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Structure of cosmic ray-modified perpendicular shocks

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Kinetic diffusion of cosmic rays ahead of perpendicular shocks induces charge non-neutrality, which is mostly, yet not completely, screened by the bulk plasma via polarization drift current. Hydrodynamic shear instabilities as well as the modified Buneman instability of the polarization current generate the turbulence necessary for a Fermi-type acceleration. Thus, similar to the case of parallel shocks, in perpendicular shocks the diffusing cosmic rays generate unstable plasma currents that in turn excite turbulence. This allows for a self-consistent evolution of a shock-cosmic ray system. In the kinetic regime of the modified Buneman instability, electrons may be heated in the cosmic ray precursor.

Keywords: cosmic rays

Journal Article.  4082 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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