Publications associated with Particle Theory


Fermi gamma-ray "bubbles" from stochastic acceleration of electrons.

Phys Rev Lett 107 (2011) 091101-

P Mertsch, S Sarkar

Gamma-ray data from Fermi Large Area Telescope reveal a bilobular structure extending up to ∼50° above and below the Galactic Center. It has been argued that the gamma rays arise from hadronic interactions of high-energy cosmic rays which are advected out by a strong wind, or from inverse-Compton scattering of relativistic electrons accelerated at plasma shocks present in the bubbles. We explore the alternative possibility that the relativistic electrons are undergoing stochastic 2nd-order Fermi acceleration by plasma wave turbulence through the entire volume of the bubbles. The observed gamma-ray spectral shape is then explained naturally by the resulting hard electron spectrum modulated by inverse-Compton energy losses. Rather than a constant volume emissivity as in other models, we predict a nearly constant surface brightness, and reproduce the observed sharp edges of the bubbles.


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