- Conference date: 19–23 March 2012
- Location: Palm Springs, CA, USA
We present a study of the acceleration of electrons at a perpendicular shock that propagates through a turbulentmagnetic field. The energization process of electrons is investigated by utilizing a combination of hybrid (kinetic ions and fluid electron) simulations and test-particle electron simulations. In this method, the motions of the test-particle electrons are numerically integrated in the time-dependent electric and magnetic fields generated by two-dimensional hybrid simulations. We show that large-scale magnetic fluctuations effect electrons in a number of ways and lead to efficient and rapid energization at the shock front. Since the electrons mainly follow along magnetic lines of force, the large-scale braiding of field lines in space allows the fast-moving electrons to interact with the shock front and get accelerated multiple times. Ripples in the shock front occurring at various scales will also contribute to the acceleration by mirroring the electrons. Our calculation shows that this process favors electron acceleration at perpendicular shocks. The acceleration efficiency is critically dependent on the turbulence amplitude and coherence length. We also discuss the implication of this study for solar energetic particles (SEPs) by comparing the acceleration of electrons with that of protons. Their correlation indicates that perpendicular shocks play an important role in SEP events.
- Shock waves
- Shock wave effects
- Solar energetic particles
- Hybrid methods
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