Publications associated with Particle Theory


Electron acceleration by wave turbulence in a magnetized plasma

Nature Physics 14 (2018) 475-479

A Rigby, F Cruz, B Albertazzi, R Bamford, AR Bell, JE Cross, F Fraschetti, P Graham, Y Hara, PM Kozlowski, Y Kuramitsu, DQ Lamb, S Lebedev, JR Marques, F Miniati, T Morita, M Oliver, B Reville, Y Sakawa, S Sarkar, C Spindloe, R Trines, P Tzeferacos, LO Silva, R Bingham, M Koenig, G Gregori

© 2018 The Author(s). Astrophysical shocks are commonly revealed by the non-thermal emission of energetic electrons accelerated in situ 1-3 . Strong shocks are expected to accelerate particles to very high energies 4-6 ; however, they require a source of particles with velocities fast enough to permit multiple shock crossings. While the resulting diffusive shock acceleration 4 process can account for observations, the kinetic physics regulating the continuous injection of non-thermal particles is not well understood. Indeed, this injection problem is particularly acute for electrons, which rely on high-frequency plasma fluctuations to raise them above the thermal pool 7,8 . Here we show, using laboratory laser-produced shock experiments, that, in the presence of a strong magnetic field, significant electron pre-heating is achieved. We demonstrate that the key mechanism in producing these energetic electrons is through the generation of lower-hybrid turbulence via shock-reflected ions. Our experimental results are analogous to many astrophysical systems, including the interaction of a comet with the solar wind 9, a setting where electron acceleration via lower-hybrid waves is possible.


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