Ion acceleration in 3D hybrid simulations of non-relativistic quasi-perpendicular shocks
August 17, 2023
Understanding the conditions conducive to particle acceleration at collisionless, non-relativistic shocks is important for the origin of cosmic rays. We use hybrid (kinetic ions---fluid electrons) kinetic simulations to investigate particle acceleration and magnetic field amplification at non-relativistic, weakly magnetized, quasi-perpendicular shocks. So far, no self-consistent kinetic simulation has reported non-thermal tails at quasi-perpendicular shocks. Unlike 2D simulations, 3D runs show that protons develop a non-thermal tail spontaneously (i.e., from the thermal bath and without pre-existing magnetic turbulence). They are rapidly accelerated via shock drift acceleration up to a maximum energy determined by their escape upstream. We discuss the implications of our results for the phenomenology of heliospheric shocks, supernova remnants and radio supernovae.
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