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ICRC 2007 Proceedings - Pre-Conference Edition

**Hard particle spectra from parallel shocks due to turbulence transmission
**

J ONI TAMMI UCD School of Mathematical Sciences, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland

joni.tammi@iki.ﬁ Abstract: If taken into account, the transmission of the particle-scattering turbulence –in addition to just the particles– through the shock front can change the effective compression ratio felt by the accelerating particles signiﬁcantly from the compression of the underlying plasma. This can lead to signiﬁcantly harder energy spectra than what are traditionally predicted assuming frozen-in turbulence. I consider the applicability and limitations of turbulence transmission scenario in parallel shock waves of different thickness, its consequences in AGN and microquasar environments, and discuss the possible effects to the spectrum of the accelerated particles.

Introduction

The ﬁrst-order Fermi acceleration process in shock waves is often considered as the main mechanism responsible for the nonthermal electron populations assumed to produce the observed radiation in many astrophysical sources. In the basic theory partices gain energy scattering elastically off magnetic turbulence –e.g., Alfv´ n waves– frozen-in on e the converging ﬂow. The process is known to accelerate charged particles to power-law energy distributions N ∝ E −σ , with spectral index σ having value ∼ 2 for nonrelativistic and ∼ 2.2 for relativistic shocks, ﬁtting many observations. For the simplest nonrelativistic (unmodiﬁed) step shocks the spectral index of the accelerated particles is known to depend mainly on the compression ratio of the plasma, r ≃ rﬂow = V1 /V2 , as r+2 σ = r−1 , where V1 and V2 are the shock-frame speeds of the far up- and downstream ﬂows, respectively. The compression ratio itself depends on the hydrodynamics of the ﬂow, and has values ranging from 4 (nonrelativistic) to 3 (V1 → c). In modiﬁed thicker shocks the effect of broadened speed proﬁle leads to decreased acceleration efﬁciency and steeper spectra. [1, 2] Although many observations are in accordance with σ of 2 or 2.2, there are of sources that seem to require signiﬁcantly smaller indices that outside the limits of the traditional ﬁrst-order acceleration

theory. Although there are other plausible mechanisms cabable of producing σ < 2, leaving the assumption of frozen-in turbulence might be sufﬁcient even for the ﬁrst-order process to lead to hard spectra naturally. Namely, it has been observed that if one does not neglect the speed of the scattering waves but instead acknowledge their own dynamics within the ﬂow going through a shock, calculate the effects of the shock crossing on their amplitudes and wavelenghts, and consider the actual speed of the scattering-centres instead of the speed of the ﬂow, the effective compression ratio can be signiﬁcantly higher than just the rﬂow . [3–8] In this paper I review the study done so far on parallel shocks, discuss the physical requirements for the scenario, and illustrate the method in the case of microquasar Cygnus X-3.

Wave transmission

Let us now consider turbulence spectrum I(k) ∝ k −q for k > k0 with two special values for the spectral index q: the Kolmogorov spectrum with with q = 5/3, and q = 2 corresponding to turbulence self-generated by the relativistic electrons streaming ahead of the shock. In very thin astrophysical plasmas particle–particle collisions are extremely rare and the particles are only ”see” the magnetic turbulence. If the turbulence is frozen-in to the plasma, as is usually as-

T URBULENCE TRANSMISSION IN SHOCKS

sumed, the scattering-centre speed is simply that of the underlying plasma ﬂow. But, as has been known for long, [9] if the waves themselves have signiﬁcant speeds with respect to the ﬂow, then also the scattering-centre speed changes. For turbulence consisting of Alfv´ n waves propagating e ′ in the plasma with Alfv´ n speed VA either parale lel (”forward”) or antiparallel (”backward”) to the direction of the ﬂow with respect to the shock, the wave speed in the shock rest frame is simply the ﬂow speed V (x) in the shock frame plus (or minus) the local Alfv´ n speed in the plasma e frame. When there are both wavemodes (parallel and antiparallel) present, it becomes useful to deﬁne the normalised cross-helicity of the waves as Hc = (I + − I − )/(I + + I − ) ∈ [−1, +1], where I ± are the wave spectra of the forward (+) and the backward (−) waves for a given wavenumber at a given location. The mean scattering-centre speed ′ ′ is then simply Vsc = (V + Hc VA )/(1 + Hc V VA ). Furthermore, use of the quasi-Newtonian Alfv´ nic e Γ1 Mach number, M ≡ VV1 ΓA1 , allows easier com′ A1 parison of the results. It is analogous to the sonic Mach number, but only compares the shock proper speed to the Alfv´ nic proper speed in the upstream √e ′ VA1 ΓA1 = B/ 4πµn, where µ = (ρ + P )/n is the speciﬁc enthalpy, ρ and n the total energy and the number densities, and P the gas pressure. In a super-Alfv´ nic shock the plasma speed, as e measured in the rest frame of the shock front, is always larger than the local wave speed with respect to the ﬂow. In other words, as seen in the shock rest frame, both the forward and backward moving waves propagate toward the shock in the upstream, and away from it in the downstream, and there are no waves crossing the shock from downstream to upstream. From this √ can deﬁne the we critical Mach number Mc ≡ r, above which these conditions are fulﬁlled. [4] In order to calculate the scattering-centre speeds both sides of the shock one has to see how the shock affects the wavelenghts and amplitudes of the waves. So far this has been done separately for the step shock approximation (i.e., for waves much longer than the shock structure) [3–5] and for thick modiﬁed shocks (or for waves sufﬁciently short in order to see the shock transition as smooth transition) [6, 7], but extensive stufy for all wavelength– shock thickness ratios is still in preparation.

**Wave ﬁeld behind the shock
**

Details of the transmission process depend on the wavelength of the crossing wave; if the waves are long compared to the shock transition, the part of the waves are simply transmitted through the shock while part is reﬂected, i.e., ”+” waves become ”−” waves and vice versa, and regardless of the upstream wave composition there will be both wave modes present in the behind the shock. [3, 4] Different waves are also ampliﬁed differently leading to situation where, regardless of the upstream wave ﬁeld, the waves immediately behind a step shock are ﬂowing predominantly antiparallel to the ﬂow and ”following” the shock. If the shock crossing is wide enough to allow for the waves to see it as a smooth change from upstream to downstream plasma parametres, there will be no wave reﬂection in this case (see, however, [10]), and a all-forward upstream will result into all-forward downstream and likewise for backward waves (i.e., Hc1 = ±1 ⇒ Hc2 ± 1). [6, 7] This leads to a qualitative difference compared to the step-shock case, as now, depending on the upstream wave ﬁeld and the shock speed, there are also cases where downstream cross-helicity (or the ”average wave direction”) is positive, i.e., most of the waves are propagating forward (Fig. 1 in [7]).

ICRC 2007 Proceedings - Pre-Conference Edition

**Increased compression ratio
**

From the wave and ﬂow speeds and the crosshelicity on both sides of the shock one calculate the effective compression ratio, i.e., the compression ratio of the scattering centres: rk ≡ Vk1 /Vk2 . This is the actual compression felt by the particles crossing the shock, and it can be signiﬁcantly different from the compression ratio of the ﬂow r. As M → ∞ the effective wave speed Vk → V and we get back to the frozen-in turbulence, but as ′ M → Mc (or VA becomes non-negligible with respect to V ), the scattering-centre compression ratio starts to differ from that of the ﬂow. Figures 1 and 2 show the rk /r as a function of the Alfv´ nic Mach number (normalised to the critical e √ value Mc = r) for different shock speeds; Fig. 1 corresponds to the case with Kolmogorov turbulence pre-existing in the upstream (Hc1 = 0, q = 5/3), and Fig. 2 has all waves initially antiparal-

30 TH I NTERNATIONAL C OSMIC R AY C ONFERENCE

ICRC 2007 Proceedings - Pre-Conference Edition

Figure 1: Scattering-centre compression ratio rk as a function of Alfv´ nic Mach number M for various shock e speeds in the case of upstram turbulence corresponding to Hc1 = 0 and q = 5/3. The thick black line separates the step and thick shock cases. lel to the ﬂow, as if self-generated by the streaming cosmic ray particles (Hc1 = −1, q = 2). In Fig. 1 one can also see the case for relativistic thick shocks (or very short waves), where the effective compression ratio can also decrease. In most cases the compression ratio is, however, increased for magnetic ﬁeld strengths sufﬁcient to allow for nonnegligible wave speeds.

Figure 2: Same as Fig. 1 but for Hc1 = −1 and q = 2. scattering-centre compression ratio would have to be rk /rﬂow ≈ 1.24 times that of the ﬂow. From Fig. 1 we can see that this kind of increased compression in the case of a mildly relativistic step shock could follow if the ratio of Alfv´ nic Mach e √ number to the critical Mach number Mc = rﬂow √ is M/Mc ≈ 2.74 ⇒ M ≈ 2.74 rﬂow ≈ 5.33. Now, combining the equations for the Alfv´ nic e proper speed and the Mach number, we can solve √ the magnetic ﬁeld as B = Γ1 V1 4πµn/M. For a strong shock the pressure of the upstream gas can be neglected compared to its rest energy, so the speciﬁc enthalpy becomes µ = m, where the mass m depends on the composition of the plasma: m = mp + me for hydrogen plasma, and m = 2me for electron-positron pair plasma. As neither the composition nor the number density is known, we use n = 1 cm−3 . Substituting the values in to the equation of the magnetic ﬁeld, we get BH ≈ 21 mG and Bpair ≈ 0.69 mG for hydrogen and pair plasmas,respectively. Both agree well with the upper limits B < 0.15 G deduced from observations by another group [12], so with the aforementioned assumptions the increased com1. Note that the equation for spectral index is not accurate for other than the simplest nonrelativistic shocks – for faster speeds it overestimates the required compression. This value is still illustrative as it sets even stricter limits for the magnetic ﬁeld. Furthermore, the nonrelativistic formula for diffusive acceleration has been observed to work rather well even in relativistic shocks if increased compression is present. [6]

**Example: Cygnus X-3 ﬂare
**

A recent study of a microquasar Cygnus X-3 ﬂare suggests the presence of electron population with a high-energy power-law distribution with energy spectral index σ ≈ 1.77. [11] Let us apply the wave transmission scenario to see what is required for the physical properties if such a spectrum would be produced by a simple strong step shock moving with speed V1 = 0.63 c into low-density plasma with pre-existing Kolmogorov type turbulence. In the following we set c = 1, and follow the transmission analysis presented in detail in [4, 5]. Inversing the equation for σ(r) to r(σ) we can see that if the σ = 1.77 is assumed to be due to ﬁrstorder process, the compression ratio of rk ≈ 4.90 would be needed.1 Describing the plasma as a dissipation-free ideal gas, the compression ratio of the ﬂow itself is only rﬂow ≈ 3.78, so the

T URBULENCE TRANSMISSION IN SHOCKS

Figure 3: Resulting particle spectral index σ from parallel step shocks when the upstream turbulence (q = 5/3, Hc1 = 0) is transmitted through a step shock and the resulting effective compression ratio is used for acceleration. Solid lines are for a relativistic shock moving with speed V1 = 0.995 c, dashed lines correspond to V1 = 0.63 c (Cyg X-3); upstream number densities are n = 1 cm−3 and 100 cm−3 (thin and thick lines, respectively) The two vertical dotted lines mark the limit for frozen-in turbulence.

versal” σ ≈ 2.2 value. I also demonstrated that the physical properties required can be very close to those obtained observationally, thus suggesting that this kind of mechanism could indeed be present in certain sources. I also stress that the mechanisms discussed rely on various assumptions. First of all, the current theory only deals with parallel shocks. It also neglects the particle–wave, wave–shock or wave–wave interactions, and assumes the turbulence to consist of small-amplitude Alfv´ n waves. Furthermore, cure rently the short and long wavelength waves (and particle scattering off them) are treated separately, although it is probable for any real astrophysical shock to affect waves of various lengths. Neither the second-order acceleration is considered here, as its connection to the transmission analysis has been studied elsewhere. [13]

ICRC 2007 Proceedings - Pre-Conference Edition

References

[1] P. Schneider and J. G. Kirk, A&A 217, 344 (1989). [2] J. Virtanen and R. Vainio, Proc. 28th ICRC OG 1.4, 2023 (2003). [3] R. Vainio and R. Schlickeiser, A&A 331, 793 (1998). [4] R. Vainio, J. J. P. Virtanen, and R. Schlickeiser, A&A 409, 821 (2003). [5] R. Vainio, J. J. P. Virtanen, and R. Schlickeiser, A&A 431, 7 (2005). [6] J. J. P. Virtanen and R. Vainio, A&A 439, 461 (2005). [7] J. Tammi and R. Vainio, A&A 460, 23 (2006). [8] J. Tammi (n´ Virtanen), Ph.D. thesis, Univere sity of Turku, 2006. [9] A. R. Bell, MNRAS 182, 147 (1978). [10] T. Laitinen, Astrophysics and Space Sciences Transactions 1, 35 (2005). [11] E. Lindfors, M. T¨ rler, D. Hannikainen, G. u Pooley, J. Tammi, S. Trushkin, and E. Valtaoja, submitted to A&A . [12] J. C. A. Miller-Jones, K. M. Blundell, M. P. Rupen, A. J. Mioduszewski, P. Duffy, and A. J. Beasley, ApJ 600, 368 (2004). [13] J. J. P. Virtanen and R. Vainio, ApJ 621, 313 (2005).

pression ratio due to turbulence transmission could be considered in explaining the hard spectrum. It is interesting to note that if the value 100 cm−3 is used for the upstream number density, the ﬁelds become BH ≈ 0.21 G and Bpair ≈ 6.9 mG, rising the BH above previous upper limits. More detailed knowledge on either the magnetic ﬁeld or the density could yield a tool for testing this model for both the improving and rebuttal purposes. The relation between the spectral index and the magnetic ﬁeld is shown in Fig. 3 for the Cyg X-3 case, and additionally for a fully relativistic shock with Γ1 ≈ 10 and for densities 1 and 100 cm−3.

Conclusions

I have discussed particle acceleration by the ﬁrstorder Fermi acceleration mechanism leaving out the simplifying assumption of frozen-in turbulence. I have described the basic results of Alfv´ n e wave transmission analysis [3–8], and the requirements for it to have signiﬁcant changes in the accelerated particle spectrum with emphasis on the possibility of having a natural way for parallel shocks to produce spectra steeper than the ”uni-

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