Posts Tagged particle acceleration

Recent Postings from particle acceleration

Beaming of particles and synchrotron radiation in relativistic magnetic reconnection

Relativistic reconnection has been invoked as a mechanism for particle acceleration in numerous astrophysical systems. According to idealised analytical models reconnection produces a bulk relativistic outflow emerging from the reconnection sites (X-points). The resulting radiation is therefore highly beamed. Using two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations, we investigate particle and radiation beaming, finding a very different picture. Instead of having a relativistic average bulk motion with isotropic electron velocity distribution in its rest frame, we find that the bulk motion of particles in X-points is similar to their Lorentz factor gamma, and the particles are beamed within about 5/gamma. On the way from the X-point to the magnetic islands, particles turn in the magnetic field, forming a fan confined to the current sheet. Once they reach the islands they isotropise after completing a full Larmor gyration and their radiation is not strongly beamed anymore. The radiation pattern at a given frequency depends on where the corresponding emitting electrons radiate their energy. Lower energy particles that cool slowly spend most of their time in the islands, and their radiation is not highly beamed. Only particles that quickly cool at the edge of the X-points generate a highly beamed fan-like radiation pattern. The radiation emerging from these fast cooling particles is above the burn-off limit (about 100 MeV in the overall rest frame of the reconnecting plasma.) This has significant implications for models of GRBs and AGNs that invoke beaming in that frame at much lower energies.

Performance of Major Flare Watches from the Max Millennium Program (2001-2010)

The physical processes that trigger solar flares are not well understood and significant debate remains around processes governing particle acceleration, energy partition, and particle and energy transport. Observations at high resolution in energy, time, and space are required in multiple energy ranges over the whole course of many flares in order to build an understanding of these processes. Obtaining high-quality, co-temporal data from ground- and space- based instruments is crucial to achieving this goal and was the primary motivation for starting the Max Millennium program and Major Flare Watch (MFW) alerts, aimed at coordinating observations of all flares >X1 GOES X-ray classification (including those partially occulted by the limb). We present a review of the performance of MFWs from 1 February 2001 to 31 May 2010, inclusive, that finds: (1) 220 MFWs were issued in 3,407 days considered (6.5% duty cycle), with these occurring in 32 uninterrupted periods that typically last 2-8 days; (2) 56% of flares >X1 were caught, occurring in 19% of MFW days; (3) MFW periods ended at suitable times, but substantial gain could have been achieved in percentage of flares caught if periods had started 24 h earlier; (4) MFWs successfully forecast X-class flares with a true skill statistic (TSS) verification metric score of 0.500, that is comparable to a categorical flare/no-flare interpretation of the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Centre probabilistic forecasts (TSS = 0.488).

Particle acceleration, magnetization and radiation in relativistic shocks

What are the mechanisms of particle acceleration and radiation, as well as magnetic field build up and decay in relativistic shocks are open questions with important implications to various phenomena in high energy astrophysics. While the Weibel instability is possibly responsible for magnetic field build up and diffusive shock acceleration is a model for acceleration, both have problems and current PIC simulation show that particles are accelerated only under special conditions and the magnetic field decays on a short length scale. We present here a novel model for the structure and the emission of highly relativistic collisionless shocks. The model takes into account (and is based on) non-local energy and momentum transport across the shock front via emission and absorption of high-energy photons. This leads to a pre-acceleration of the fluid and pre-amplificaiton of the magnetic fields in the upstream region. Both have drastic implications on the shock structure. The model explains the persistence of the shock generated magnetic field at large distances from the shock front. The dissipation of this magnetic field results in a continuous particle acceleration within the downstream region. The model suggests two non-uniform emission zones (the downstream and the upstream), that give rise to three emission components with different spectral and temporal properties. A unique feature of the model is the existence of an "attractor", toward which any shock will evolve. This enables us to estimate from first principles the synchrotron and inverse Compton spectrum of the downstream emission. The model is applicable to any relativistic shock, but its distinctive features show up only for large compactness. We demonstrate that prompt and afterglow Gamma-Ray Bursts' shocks satisfy the relevant conditions and compare their observations with the predictions.

Investigating Particle Acceleration in Protostellar Jets: The Triple Radio Continuum Source in Serpens

While most protostellar jets present free-free emission at radio wavelengths, synchrotron emission has been also proposed to be present in a handful of these objects. The presence of non-thermal emission has been inferred by negative spectral indices at centimeter wavelengths. In one case (the HH 80-81 jet arising from a massive protostar), its synchrotron nature was confirmed by the detection of linearly polarized radio emission. One of the main consequences of these results is that synchrotron emission implies the presence of relativistic particles among the non-relativistic material of these jets. Therefore, an acceleration mechanism should be taking place. The most probable scenario is that particles are accelerated when the jets strongly impact against the dense envelope surrounding the protostar. Here, we present an analysis of radio observations obtained with the Very Large Array of the Triple Radio Source in the Serpens star-forming region. This object is known to be a radio jet arising from an intermediate-mass protostar. It is also one of the first protostellar jets where the presence of non-thermal emission was proposed. We analysed the dynamics of the jet as well as the nature of the emission and discuss these issues in the context of the physical parameters of the jet and the particle acceleration phenomenon.

Particle Acceleration by a Solar Flare Termination Shock

Solar flares - the most powerful explosions in the solar system - are also efficient particle accelerators, capable of energizing a large number of charged particles to relativistic speeds. A termination shock is often invoked in the standard model of solar flares as a possible driver for particle acceleration, yet its existence and role have remained controversial. We present observations of a solar flare termination shock and trace its morphology and dynamics using high-cadence radio imaging spectroscopy. We show that a disruption of the shock coincides with an abrupt reduction of the energetic electron population. The observed properties of the shock are well-reproduced by simulations. These results strongly suggest that a termination shock is responsible, at least in part, for accelerating energetic electrons in solar flares.

Origin of the Proton-to-Helium Ratio Anomaly in Cosmic Rays

Recent data on Galactic cosmic rays revealed that the helium energy spectrum is harder than the proton spectrum. The AMS experiment has now reported that the proton-to-helium ratio as function of rigidity $R$ (momentum-to-charge ratio) falls off steadily as p/He $\sim R^\Delta$, with $\Delta\approx$-0.08 between $R\sim$40 GV and $R\sim$2 TV. Besides, the single spectra of proton and helium are found to progressively harden at $R\gtrsim$100 GV. The p/He anomaly is generally ascribed to particle-dependent acceleration mechanisms occurring in Galactic cosmic-ray sources. However, this explanation poses a challenge to the known mechanisms of particle acceleration since they are believed to be "universal", composition blind rigidity mechanisms. Using the new AMS data, we show that the p/He anomaly can be simply explained in terms of a two-component scenario where the GeV-TeV flux is ascribed to a hydrogen-rich source, possibly a nearby supernova remnant, characterized by a soft acceleration spectrum. This simple idea provides a common interpretation for the p/He ratio and for the single spectra of proton and helium: both anomalies are explained by a flux transition between two components. The "universality" of particle acceleration in sources is not violated in this model. A distinctive signature of our scenario is the high-energy flattening of the p/He ratio at multi-TeV energies, which is hinted by existing data and will be resolutely tested by new space experiments ISS-CREAM and CALET.

Origin of the Proton-to-Helium Ratio Anomaly in Cosmic Rays [Replacement]

Recent data on Galactic cosmic rays (CRs) revealed that the helium energy spectrum is harder than the proton spectrum. The AMS experiment has now reported that the proton-to-helium ratio as function of rigidity $R$ (momentum-to-charge ratio) falls off steadily as p/He $\sim R^\Delta$, with $\Delta\approx$-0.08 between $R\sim$40 GV and $R\sim$2 TV. Besides, the single spectra of proton and helium are found to progressively harden at $R\gtrsim$100 GV. The p/He anomaly is generally ascribed to particle-dependent acceleration mechanisms occurring in Galactic CR sources. However, this explanation poses a challenge to the known mechanisms of particle acceleration since they are believed to be "universal", composition blind, rigidity mechanisms. Using the new AMS data, we show that the p/He anomaly can be simply explained in terms of a two-component scenario where the GeV-TeV flux is ascribed to a hydrogen-rich source, possibly a nearby supernova remnant, characterized by a soft acceleration spectrum. This simple idea provides a common interpretation for the p/He ratio and for the single spectra of proton and helium: both anomalies are explained by a flux transition between two components. The "universality" of particle acceleration in sources is not violated in this model. A distinctive signature of our scenario is the high-energy flattening of the p/He ratio at multi-TeV energies, which is hinted at by existing data and will be resolutely tested by new space experiments ISS-CREAM and CALET.

Origin of the Proton-to-Helium Ratio Anomaly in Cosmic Rays [Replacement]

Recent data on Galactic cosmic rays (CRs) revealed that the helium energy spectrum is harder than the proton spectrum. The AMS experiment has now reported that the proton-to-helium ratio as function of rigidity $R$ (momentum-to-charge ratio) falls off steadily as p/He $\sim R^\Delta$, with $\Delta\approx$-0.08 between $R\sim$40 GV and $R\sim$2 TV. Besides, the single spectra of proton and helium are found to progressively harden at $R\gtrsim$100 GV. The p/He anomaly is generally ascribed to particle-dependent acceleration mechanisms occurring in Galactic CR sources. However, this explanation poses a challenge to the known mechanisms of particle acceleration since they are believed to be "universal", composition blind, rigidity mechanisms. Using the new AMS data, we show that the p/He anomaly can be simply explained in terms of a two-component scenario where the GeV-TeV flux is ascribed to a hydrogen-rich source, possibly a nearby supernova remnant, characterized by a soft acceleration spectrum. This simple idea provides a common interpretation for the p/He ratio and for the single spectra of proton and helium: both anomalies are explained by a flux transition between two components. The "universality" of particle acceleration in sources is not violated in this model. A distinctive signature of our scenario is the high-energy flattening of the p/He ratio at multi-TeV energies, which is hinted at by existing data and will be resolutely tested by new space experiments ISS-CREAM and CALET.

Modeling high-energy pulsar lightcurves from first principles [Replacement]

Current models of gamma-ray lightcurves in pulsars suffer from large uncertainties on the precise location of particle acceleration and radiation. Here, we present an attempt to alleviate these difficulties by solving for the electromagnetic structure of the oblique magnetosphere, particle acceleration, and the emission of radiation self-consistently, using 3D spherical particle-in-cell simulations. We find that the low-energy radiation is synchro-curvature radiation from the polar-cap regions within the light cylinder. In contrast, the high-energy emission is synchrotron radiation that originates exclusively from the Y-point and the equatorial current sheet where relativistic magnetic reconnection accelerates particles. In most cases, synthetic high-energy lightcurves contain two peaks that form when the current sheet sweeps across the observer's line of sight. We find clear evidence of caustics in the emission pattern from the current sheet. High-obliquity solutions can present up to two additional secondary peaks from energetic particles in the wind region accelerated by the reconnection-induced flow near the current sheet. The high-energy radiative efficiency depends sensitively on the viewing angle, and decreases with increasing pulsar inclination. The high-energy emission is concentrated in the equatorial regions where most of the pulsar spindown is released and dissipated. These results have important implications for the interpretation of gamma-ray pulsar data.

Modeling high-energy pulsar lightcurves from first principles

Current models of gamma-ray lightcurves in pulsars suffer from large uncertainties on the precise location of particle acceleration and radiation. Here, we present an attempt to alleviate these difficulties by solving for the electromagnetic structure of the oblique magnetosphere, particle acceleration, and the emission of radiation self-consistently, using 3D spherical particle-in-cell simulations. We find that the low-energy radiation is synchro-curvature radiation from the polar-cap regions within the light cylinder. In contrast, the high-energy emission is synchrotron radiation that originates exclusively from the Y-point and the equatorial current sheet where relativistic magnetic reconnection accelerates particles. In most cases, synthetic high-energy lightcurves contain two peaks that form when the current sheet sweeps across the observer's line of sight. We find clear evidence of caustics in the emission pattern from the current sheet. High-obliquity solutions can present up to two additional secondary peaks from energetic particles in the wind region accelerated by the reconnection-induced flow near the current sheet. The high-energy radiative efficiency depends sensitively on the viewing angle, and decreases with increasing pulsar inclination. The high-energy emission is concentrated in the equatorial regions where most of the pulsar spindown is released and dissipated. These results have important implications for the interpretation of gamma-ray pulsar data.

Type IIn supernovae as sources of high energy astrophysical neutrinos

It is shown that high-energy astrophysical neutrinos observed in the IceCube experiment can be produced by protons accelerated in extragalactic Type IIn supernova remnants by shocks propagating in the dense circumstellar medium. The nonlinear diffusive shock acceleration model is used for description of particle acceleration. We calculate the neutrino spectrum produced by an individual Type IIn supernova and the spectrum of neutrino background produced by IIn supernovae in the expanding Universe. We also found that the arrival direction of one Icecube neutrino candidate (track event 47) is at 1.35$^{\circ }$ from Type IIn supernova 2005bx.

Novae as Tevatrons: Prospects for CTA and IceCube

The discovery of novae as sources of ~GeV gamma-rays highlights the key role of shocks and relativistic particle acceleration in these transient systems. Although there is evidence for a spectral cut-off above energies ~1-100 GeV at particular epochs in some novae, the maximum particle energy achieved in these accelerators has remained an open question. The high densities of the nova ejecta (~10 orders of magnitude larger than in supernova remnants) render the gas far upstream of the shock neutral and shielded from ionizing radiation. The amplification of the magnetic field needed for diffusive shock acceleration requires ionized gas, thus confining the acceleration process to a narrow photo-ionized layer immediately ahead of the shock. Based on the growth rate in this layer of the hybrid non-resonant cosmic ray current-driven instability (considering also ion-neutral damping), we quantify the maximum particle energy, Emax, across the range of shock velocities and upstream densities of interest. We find values of Emax ~ 10 GeV - 10 TeV, which are broadly consistent with the inferred spectral cut-offs, but which could also in principle lead to emission extending to higher energies >100 GeV accessible to atmosphere Cherenkov telescopes, such as the planned Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA). Detecting TeV neutrinos with IceCube in hadronic scenarios appears to be more challenging, although the prospects are improved if the shock power during the earliest, densest phases of the nova outburst is higher than is implied by the observed GeV light curves, due to downscattering of the gamma-rays by electrons within the ejecta. Novae provide ideal nearby laboratories to study magnetic field amplification and the onset of cosmic ray acceleration, because other time-dependent sources (e.g. radio supernovae) typically occur too distant to detect as gamma-ray sources.

Magnetic fields, non-thermal radiation and particle acceleration in colliding winds of WR-O stars

Non-thermal emission has been detected in WR-stars for many years at long wavelengths spectral range, in general attributed to synchrotron emission. Two key ingredients are needed to explain such emissions, namely magnetic fields and relativistic particles. Particles can be accelerated to relativistic speeds by Fermi processes at strong shocks. Therefore, strong synchrotron emission is usually attributed to WR binarity. The magnetic field may also be amplified at shocks, however the actual picture of the magnetic field geometry, intensity, and its role on the acceleration of particles at WR binary systems is still unclear. In this work we discuss the recent developments in MHD modelling of wind-wind collision regions by means of numerical simulations, and the coupled particle acceleration processes related.

Radiative Magnetic Reconnection in Astrophysics

I review a new rapidly growing area of high-energy plasma astrophysics --- radiative magnetic reconnection, i.e., a reconnection regime where radiation reaction influences reconnection dynamics, energetics, and nonthermal particle acceleration. This influence be may be manifested via a number of astrophysically important radiative effects, such as radiation-reaction limits on particle acceleration, radiative cooling, radiative resistivity, braking of reconnection outflows by radiation drag, radiation pressure, viscosity, and even pair creation at highest energy densities. Self-consistent inclusion of these effects in magnetic reconnection theory and modeling calls for serious modifications to our overall theoretical approach to the problem. In addition, prompt reconnection-powered radiation often represents our only observational diagnostic tool for studying remote astrophysical systems; this underscores the importance of developing predictive modeling capabilities to connect the underlying physical conditions in a reconnecting system to observable radiative signatures. This Chapter gives an overview of recent theoretical progress in developing basic physical understanding of radiative reconnection, with a special emphasis on astrophysically important radiation mechanisms like synchrotron, curvature, and inverse-Compton. It also offers a broad review of key high-energy astrophysical applications of radiative reconnection, such as: pulsar wind nebulae and magnetospheres, accreting black-hole coronae and jets in XRBs and AGN, magnetospheres of magnetars, and Gamma-Ray Bursts. Finally, this Chapter discusses the most critical open questions and outlines the directions for future research in this exciting new frontier of plasma astrophysics.

Particle acceleration at reconnecting separator current layers

The aim of this work is to investigate and characterise particle behaviour in a 3D MHD model of a reconnecting magnetic separator. We use a relativistic guiding-centre test-particle code to investigate electron and proton acceleration in snapshots from 3D MHD separator reconnection experiments, and compare the results with findings from an analytical separator reconnection model studied in a previous investigation. The behaviour (and acceleration) of large distributions of particles are examined in detail for both analytical and numerical separator reconnection models. Differences in acceleration sites are recovered and discussed, together with the dependence of final particle energy ranges upon the dimensions of the models and the stage of the (time-dependent) MHD reconnection event. We discuss the implications of these results for observed magnetic separators in the solar corona.

Particle acceleration at reconnecting separator current layers [Replacement]

The aim of this work is to investigate and characterise particle behaviour in a 3D magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) model of a reconnecting magnetic separator. We use a relativistic guiding-centre test-particle code to investigate electron and proton acceleration in snapshots from 3D MHD separator reconnection experiments, and compare the results with findings from an analytical separator reconnection model studied in a previous investigation. The behaviour and acceleration of large distributions of particles are examined in detail for both analytical and numerical separator reconnection models. Accelerated particle orbit trajectories are shown to follow the separator before leaving the system along the separatrix surface of one of the nulls (determined by particle species) in the system of both models. A sufficiently localised electric field about the separator causes the orbits to appear to follow the spine bounding the separatrix surface field lines instead. We analyse and discuss the locations and spread of accelerated particle orbit final positions, which are seen to change over time in the numerical separator reconnection model. We deduce a simple relationship between the final energy range of particle orbits and the model dimensions, and discuss its implications for observed magnetic separators in the solar corona.

Particle dynamics in a non-flaring solar active region model [Replacement]

The aim of this work is to investigate and characterise particle behaviour in an (observationally-driven) 3D MHD model of the solar atmosphere above a slowly evolving, non-flaring active region. We use a relativistic guiding-centre particle code to investigate the behaviour of selected particle orbits, distributed throughout a single snapshot of the 3D MHD simulation. Two distinct particle acceleration behaviours are recovered, which affect both electrons and protons: (i) direct acceleration along field lines and (ii) tangential drifting of guiding centres with respect to local magnetic field. However, up to 40\% of all particles actually experience a form of (high energy) particle trap, because of changes in the direction of the electric field and unrelated to the strength of the magnetic field; such particles are included in the first category. Additionally, category (i) electron and proton orbits undergo surprisingly strong acceleration to non-thermal energies ($\lesssim42$MeV), because of the strength and extent of super-Dreicer electric fields created by the MHD simulation. Reducing the electric field strength of the MHD model does not significantly affect the efficiency of the (electric field-based) trapping mechanism, but does reduce the peak energies gained by orbits. We discuss the implications for future experiments, which aim to simulate non-flaring active region heating and reconnection.

Particle dynamics in a non-flaring solar active region model

The aim of this work is to investigate and characterise particle behaviour in a (observationally-driven) 3D MHD model of the solar atmosphere above a slowly evolving, non-flaring active region. We use a relativistic guiding-centre particle code to investigate particle acceleration in a single snapshot of the 3D MHD simulation. Despite the lack of flare-like behaviour in the active region, direct acceleration of electrons and protons to non-thermal energies ($\lesssim420$MeV) was found, yielding spectra with high-energy tails which conform to a power law. Examples of particle dynamics, including particle trapping caused by local electric rather than magnetic field effects, are observed and discussed, together with implications for future experiments which simulate non-flaring active region heating and reconnection.

Particle acceleration in the vacuum gaps in black hole magnetospheres

We consider particle acceleration in vacuum gaps in magnetospheres of black holes powered through Blandford-Znajek mechanism and embedded into radiatively-inefficient accretion flow (RIAF) environment. In such situation the gap height is limited by the onset of gamma-gamma pair production on the infrared photons originating from the RIAF. We numerically calculate acceleration and propagation of charged particles taking into account the detailed structure of electric and magnetic field in the gap and in the entire black hole magnetosphere, radiative energy losses and interactions of gamma rays produced by the propagated charged particles with the background radiation field of RIAF. We show that the presence of the vacuum gap has clear observational signatures. The spectra of emission from gaps embedded into a relatively high luminosity RIAF are dominated by the inverse Compton emission with a sharp, super-exponential cut-off in the very-high-energy gamma-ray band. The cut-off energy is determined by the properties of the RIAF and is largely independent of the structure of magnetosphere and geometry of the gap.The spectra of the gap residing in low-luminosity RIAFs are dominated by synchrotron / curvature emission with the spectra extending into 1-100 GeV energy range. We also consider the effect of possible acceleration of protons in the gap and find that proton energies could reach the ultra-high-energy cosmic ray (UHECR) range only in extremely low luminosity RIAFs.

Particle acceleration in the vacuum gaps in black hole magnetospheres [Replacement]

We consider particle acceleration in vacuum gaps in magnetospheres of black holes powered through Blandford-Znajek mechanism and embedded into radiatively-inefficient accretion flow (RIAF) environment. In such situation the gap height is limited by the onset of gamma-gamma pair production on the infrared photons originating from the RIAF. We numerically calculate acceleration and propagation of charged particles taking into account the detailed structure of electric and magnetic field in the gap and in the entire black hole magnetosphere, radiative energy losses and interactions of gamma rays produced by the propagated charged particles with the background radiation field of RIAF. We show that the presence of the vacuum gap has clear observational signatures. The spectra of emission from gaps embedded into a relatively high luminosity RIAF are dominated by the inverse Compton emission with a sharp, super-exponential cut-off in the very-high-energy gamma-ray band. The cut-off energy is determined by the properties of the RIAF and is largely independent of the structure of magnetosphere and geometry of the gap.The spectra of the gap residing in low-luminosity RIAFs are dominated by synchrotron / curvature emission with the spectra extending into 1-100 GeV energy range. We also consider the effect of possible acceleration of protons in the gap and find that proton energies could reach the ultra-high-energy cosmic ray (UHECR) range only in extremely low luminosity RIAFs.

VHE gamma-ray observations of transient and variable stellar objects with the MAGIC Telescopes

Galactic transients, X-ray and gamma-ray binaries provide a proper environment for particle acceleration. This leads to the production of gamma rays with energies reaching the GeV-TeV regime. MAGIC has carried out deep observations of different transient and variable stellar objects of which we highlight 4 of them here: LSI+61 303, MWC 656, Cygnus X-1 and SN 2014J. We present the results of those observations, including long-term monitoring of Cygnus X-1 and LSI+61 303 (7 and 8 years, respectively). The former is one of the brightest X-ray sources and best studied microquasars across a broad range of wavelengths, whose steady and variable signal was studied by MAGIC within a multiwavelength scenario. The latest results of an unique object, MWC 656, are also shown in this presentation. This source is the first high-mass X-ray binary system detected that is composed of a black hole and a Be star. Finally, we report on the observations of SN 2014J, the nearest Type Ia SN of the last 40 years. Its proximity and early observation gave a remarkable opportunity to study important features of these powerful events.

Flux and spectral variability of the blazar PKS 2155-304 with XMM-Newton: Evidence of Particle Acceleration and Synchrotron Cooling

We have analyzed XMM-Newton observations of the high energy peaked blazar, PKS 2155-304, made on 24 May 2002 in the 0.3 - 10 keV X-ray band. These observations display a mini-flare, a nearly constant flux period and a strong flux increase. We performed a time-resolved spectral study of the data, by dividing the data into eight segments. We fitted the data with a power-law and a broken power-law model, and in some of the segments we found a noticeable spectral flattening of the source's spectrum below 10 keV. We also performed time-resolved cross-correlation analyses and detected significant hard and soft lags (for the first time in a single observation of this source) during the first and last parts of the observation, respectively. Our analysis of the spectra, the variations of photon-index with flux as well as the correlation and lags between the harder and softer X-ray bands indicate that both the particle acceleration and synchrotron cooling processes make an important contribution to the emission from this blazar. The hard lags indicate a variable acceleration process. We also estimated the magnetic field value using the soft lags. The value of the magnetic field is consistent with the values derived from the broad-band SED modeling of this source.

Ab-initio pulsar magnetosphere: the role of general relativity

It has recently been demonstrated that self-consistent particle-in-cell simulations of low-obliquity pulsar magnetospheres in flat spacetime show weak particle acceleration and no pair production near the poles. We investigate the validity of this conclusion in a more realistic spacetime geometry via general-relativistic particle-in-cell simulations of the aligned pulsar magnetospheres with pair formation. We find that the addition of frame-dragging effect makes local current density along the magnetic field larger than the Goldreich-Julian value, which leads to unscreened parallel electric fields and the ignition of a pair cascade. When pair production is active, we observe field oscillations in the open field bundle which could be related to pulsar radio emission. We conclude that general relativistic effects are essential for the existence of pulsar mechanism in low obliquity rotators.

Gamma-ray pulsars: a gold mine

The most energetic neutron stars, powered by their rotation, are capable of producing pulsed radiation from the radio up to gamma rays with nearly TeV energies. These pulsars are part of the universe of energetic and powerful particle accelerators, using their uniquely fast rotation and formidable magnetic fields to accelerate particles to ultra-relativistic speed. The extreme properties of these stars provide an excellent testing ground, beyond Earth experience, for nuclear, gravitational, and quantum-electrodynamical physics. A wealth of gamma-ray pulsars has recently been discovered with the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope. The energetic gamma rays enable us to probe the magnetospheres of neutron stars and particle acceleration in this exotic environment. We review the latest developments in this field, beginning with a brief overview of the properties and mysteries of rotation-powered pulsars, and then discussing gamma-ray observations and magnetospheric models in more detail.

Cosmic-ray acceleration in young protostars

The main signature of the interaction between cosmic rays and molecular clouds is the high ionisation degree. This decreases towards the densest parts of a cloud, where star formation is expected, because of energy losses and magnetic effects. However recent observations hint to high levels of ionisation in protostellar systems, therefore leading to an apparent contradiction that could be explained by the presence of energetic particles accelerated within young protostars. Our modelling consists of a set of conditions that has to be satisfied in order to have an efficient particle acceleration through the diffusive shock acceleration mechanism. We find that jet shocks can be strong accelerators of protons which can be boosted up to relativistic energies. Another possibly efficient acceleration site is located at protostellar surfaces, where shocks caused by impacting material during the collapse phase are strong enough to accelerate protons. Our results demonstrate the possibility of accelerating particles during the early phase of a proto-Solar-like system and can be used as an argument to support available observations. The existence of an internal source of energetic particles can have a strong and unforeseen impact on the star and planet formation process as well as on the formation of pre-biotic molecules.

Detection of Earth-skimming UHE tau neutrino with the JEM-EUSO detector

The ultra high energy cosmic neutrinos are powerful astrophysical probes for both astrophysical mechanisms of particle acceleration and fundamental interactions. They open a window into the very distant and high-energy Universe that is difficult to access by any human means and devices. The possibility of detecting them in large exposure space-based apparatus, like JEM-EUSO, is an experimental challenge. In this paper we present an estimation of the feasibility of detection of UHE tau neutrino by the JEM-EUSO telescope. The interactions of tau-neutrino in sea water and Earth's crust have been investigated. The estimation of the propagation length and energy of the outgoing tau-lepton shows that if its decay occurs in the atmosphere close enough to the Earth's surface, e.g. below $\sim$ $5 km$ altitude, the cascade is intensive enough and the generated light can be detected from space. We have evaluated the geometrical aperture of the JEM-EUSO detector for the Earth-skimming (horizontal and upward-going) tau-neutrinos by making specific modifications to the standard CORSIKA code and developing an interface to the existing ESAF (EUSO Simulation and Analysis Framework) software.

Detection of Earth-skimming UHE tau neutrino with the JEM-EUSO detector [Replacement]

The ultra high energy cosmic neutrinos are powerful astrophysical probes for both astrophysical mechanisms of particle acceleration and fundamental interactions. They open a window into the very distant and high-energy Universe that is difficult to access by any human means and devices. The possibility of detecting them in large exposure space-based apparatus, like JEM-EUSO, is an experimental challenge. In this paper we present an estimation of the feasibility of detection of UHE tau neutrino by the JEM-EUSO telescope. The interactions of tau-neutrino in sea water and Earth's crust have been investigated. The estimation of the propagation length and energy of the outgoing tau-lepton shows that if its decay occurs in the atmosphere close enough to the Earth's surface, e.g. below $\sim$ $5 km$ altitude, the cascade is intensive enough and the generated light can be detected from space. We have evaluated the geometrical aperture of the JEM-EUSO detector for the Earth-skimming (horizontal and upward-going) tau-neutrinos by making specific modifications to the standard CORSIKA code and developing an interface to the existing ESAF (EUSO Simulation and Analysis Framework) software.

Fine-pitch semiconductor detector for the FOXSI mission

The Focusing Optics X-ray Solar Imager (FOXSI) is a NASA sounding rocket mission which will study particle acceleration and coronal heating on the Sun through high sensitivity observations in the hard X-ray energy band (5-15 keV). Combining high-resolution focusing X-ray optics and fine-pitch imaging sensors, FOXSI will achieve superior sensitivity; two orders of magnitude better than that of the RHESSI satellite. As the focal plane detector, a Double-sided Si Strip Detector (DSSD) with a front-end ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) will fulfill the scientific requirements of spatial and energy resolution, low energy threshold and time resolution. We have designed and fabricated a DSSD with a thickness of 500 {\mu}m and a dimension of 9.6 mm x 9.6 mm, containing 128 strips with a pitch of 75 {\mu}m, which corresponds to 8 arcsec at the focal length of 2 m. We also developed a low-noise ASIC specified to FOXSI. The detector was successfully operated in the laboratory at a temperature of -20 C and with an applied bias voltage of 300 V, and the energy resolution of 430 eV at a 14 keV line was achieved. We also demonstrated fine-pitch imaging successfully by obtaining a shadow image, hence the implementation of scientific requirements was confirmed.

Physics of collisionless shocks - theory and simulation [Cross-Listing]

Collisionless shocks occur in various fields of physics. In the context of space and astrophysics they have been investigated for many decades. However, a thorough understanding of shock formation and particle acceleration is still missing. Collisionless shocks can be distinguished into electromagnetic and electrostatic shocks. Electromagnetic shocks are of importance mainly in astrophysical environments and they are mediated by the Weibel or filamentation instability. In such shocks, charged particles gain energy by diffusive shock acceleration. Electrostatic shocks are characterized by a strong electrostatic field, which leads to electron trapping. Ions are accelerated by reflection from the electrostatic potential. Shock formation and particle acceleration will be discussed in theory and simulations.

The challenge of turbulent acceleration of relativistic particles in the intra-cluster medium

Acceleration of cosmic-ray electrons (CRe) in the intra-cluster-medium (ICM) is probed by radio observations that detect diffuse, Mpc-scale, synchrotron sources in a fraction of galaxy clusters. Giant radio halos are the most spectacular manifestations of non-thermal activity in the ICM and are currently explained assuming that turbulence driven during massive cluster-cluster mergers reaccelerates CRe at several GeV. This scenario implies a hierarchy of complex mechanisms in the ICM that drain energy from large-scales into electromagnetic fluctuations in the plasma and collisionless mechanisms of particle acceleration at much smaller scales. In this paper we focus on the physics of acceleration by compressible turbulence. The spectrum and damping mechanisms of the electromagnetic fluctuations, and the mean-free-path (mfp) of CRe are the most relevant ingredients that determine the efficiency of acceleration. These ingredients in the ICM are however poorly known and we show that calculations of turbulent acceleration are also sensitive to these uncertainties. On the other hand this fact implies that the non-thermal properties of galaxy clusters probe the complex microphysics and the weakly collisional nature of the ICM.

Suzaku observations of a shock front tracing the western edge of the giant radio halo in the Coma Cluster

We present the results of new Suzaku observations of the Coma Cluster, the X-ray brightest, nearby, merging system hosting a well studied, typical giant radio halo. It has been previously shown that, on the western side of the cluster, the radio brightness shows a much steeper gradient compared to other azimuths. XMM-Newton and Planck revealed a shock front along the southern half of the region associated with this steep radio gradient, suggesting that the radio emission is enhanced by particle acceleration associated with the shock passage. Suzaku demonstrates for the first time that this shock front extends northwards, tracing the entire length of the western edge of the Coma radio halo. The shock is detected both in the temperature and X-ray surface brightness distributions and has a Mach number of around $\mathcal{M}\sim1.5$. The locations of the surface brightness edges align well with the edge of the radio emission, while the obtained temperature profiles seem to suggest shocks located 125-185 kpc further out in radius. In addition, the shock strengths derived from the temperature and density jumps are in agreement when using extraction regions parallel to the radio halo edge, but become inconsistent with each other when derived from radial profiles centred on the Coma Cluster core. It is likely that, beyond mere projection effects, the geometry of the shock is more complex than a front with a single, uniform Mach number and an approximately spherically symmetric shape.

Probing Efficient Cosmic-Ray Acceleration in Young Supernovae

The formation of a core collapse supernovae (SNe) results in a fast (but non- or mildly-relativistic) shock wave expanding outwards into the surrounding medium. The medium itself is likely modified due to the stellar mass-loss from the massive star progenitor, which may be Wolf-Rayet stars (for Type Ib/c SNe), red supergiant stars (for type IIP and perhaps IIb and IIL SNe), or some other stellar type. The wind mass-loss parameters determine the density structure of the surrounding medium. Combined with the velocity of the SN shock wave, this regulates the shock acceleration process. In this article we discuss the essential parameters that control the particle acceleration and gamma-ray emission in SNe, with particular reference to the Type IIb SN 1993J. The shock wave expanding into the high density medium leads to fast particle acceleration, giving rise to rapidly-growing plasma instabilities driven by the acceleration process itself. The instabilities grow over intraday timescales. This growth, combined with the interplay of non-linear processes, results in the amplification of the magnetic field at the shock front, which can adequately account for the magnetic field strengths deduced from radio monitoring of the source. The maximum particle energy can reach, and perhaps exceed, 1 PeV, depending on the dominant instability. The gamma-ray signal is found to be heavily absorbed by pair production process during the first week after the outburst. We derive the time dependent particle spectra and associated hadronic signatures of secondary particles (gamma-ray, leptons and neutrinos) arising from proton proton interactions. We find that the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) should be able to detect objects like SN 1993J above 1 TeV. We predict a low neutrino flux above 10 TeV, implying a detectability horizon with current or planned neutrino telescopes of 1 Mpc.

Radiation from a Relativistic Poynting Jet: some general considerations

We provide estimates for the flux and maximum frequency of radiation produced when the magnetic field in a relativistic, highly magnetized, jet is dissipated and particles are accelerated using general considerations. We also provide limits on the jet Lorentz factor and magnetization parameter from the observed flux. Furthermore, using the Lorentz invariance of scalar quantities produced with electromagnetic tensor, we provide constraints on particle acceleration, and general features of the emergent radiation. We find that the spectrum below the peak softens with decreasing frequency. This spectral feature might be one way of identifying a magnetic jet.

Study of high-energy particle acceleration in Tycho with gamma-ray observations

Gamma-ray emission from supernova remnants (SNRs) can provide a unique window to observe the cosmic-ray acceleration believed to take place in these objects. Tycho is an especially good target for investigating hadronic cosmic-ray acceleration and interactions because it is a young type Ia SNR that is well studied in other wavelengths, and it is located in a relatively clean environment. Several different theoretical models have been advanced to explain the broadband spectral energy emission of Tycho from radio to the gamma-ray emission detected by the Fermi-LAT in the GeV and by VERITAS in the TeV. We will present an update on the high-energy gamma-ray studies of Tycho with $\sim150$ hours of VERITAS and $\sim77$ months of the Fermi-LAT observations, which represents about a factor of two increase in exposure over previously published data. VERITAS data also include exposure with an upgraded camera, which made it possible to extend the TeV measurements toward lower energy, thanks to its improved low energy sensitivity. We will interpret these observations in the context of the particle acceleration in Tycho and proposed emission models.

On the distribution of particle acceleration sites in plasmoid-dominated relativistic magnetic reconnection

We investigate the distribution of particle acceleration sites during plasmoid-dominated, relativistic collisionless magnetic reconnection by analyzing the results of a particle-in-cell numerical simulation. The simulation is initiated with Harris-type current layers in pair plasma with no guide magnetic field, negligible radiative losses, no initial perturbation, and using periodic boundary conditions. We find that the plasmoids develop a robust internal structure, with colder dense cores and hotter outer shells, that is recovered after each plasmoid merger on a dynamical time scale. We use spacetime diagrams of the reconnection layers to probe the evolution of plasmoids, and in this context we investigate the individual particle histories for a representative sample of energetic electrons. We distinguish three classes of particle acceleration sites associated with (1) magnetic X-points, (2) regions between merging plasmoids, and (3) the trailing edges of accelerating plasmoids. We evaluate the contribution of each class of acceleration sites to the final energy distribution of energetic electrons -- magnetic X-points dominate at moderate energies, and the regions between merging plasmoids dominate at higher energies. We also identify the dominant acceleration scenarios, in order of decreasing importance -- (1) single acceleration between merging plasmoids, (2) single acceleration at a magnetic X-point, and (3) acceleration at a magnetic X-point followed by acceleration in a plasmoid. Particle acceleration is absent only in the vicinity of stationary plasmoids, and it can hardly be associated with magnetic mirrors due to the absence of plasmoid contraction after the initial stage of the simulation.

On the distribution of particle acceleration sites in plasmoid-dominated relativistic magnetic reconnection [Replacement]

We investigate the distribution of particle acceleration sites, independently of the actual acceleration mechanism, during plasmoid-dominated, relativistic collisionless magnetic reconnection by analyzing the results of a particle-in-cell numerical simulation. The simulation is initiated with Harris-type current layers in pair plasma with no guide magnetic field, negligible radiative losses, no initial perturbation, and using periodic boundary conditions. We find that the plasmoids develop a robust internal structure, with colder dense cores and hotter outer shells, that is recovered after each plasmoid merger on a dynamical time scale. We use spacetime diagrams of the reconnection layers to probe the evolution of plasmoids, and in this context we investigate the individual particle histories for a representative sample of energetic electrons. We distinguish three classes of particle acceleration sites associated with (1) magnetic X-points, (2) regions between merging plasmoids, and (3) the trailing edges of accelerating plasmoids. We evaluate the contribution of each class of acceleration sites to the final energy distribution of energetic electrons -- magnetic X-points dominate at moderate energies, and the regions between merging plasmoids dominate at higher energies. We also identify the dominant acceleration scenarios, in order of decreasing importance -- (1) single acceleration between merging plasmoids, (2) single acceleration at a magnetic X-point, and (3) acceleration at a magnetic X-point followed by acceleration in a plasmoid. Particle acceleration is absent only in the vicinity of stationary plasmoids. The effect of magnetic mirrors due to plasmoid contraction does not appear to be significant in relativistic reconnection.

Low frequency radio observations of bi-directional electron beams in the solar corona

The radio signature of a shock travelling through the solar corona is known as a type II solar radio burst. In rare cases these bursts can exhibit a fine structure known as `herringbones', which are a direct indicator of particle acceleration occurring at the shock front. However, few studies have been performed on herringbones and the details of the underlying particle acceleration processes are unknown. Here, we use an image processing technique known as the Hough transform to statistically analyse the herringbone fine structure in a radio burst at $\sim$20-90 MHz observed from the Rosse Solar-Terrestrial Observatory on 2011 September 22. We identify 188 individual bursts which are signatures of bi-directional electron beams continuously accelerated to speeds of 0.16$_{-0.10}^{+0.11} c$. This occurs at a shock acceleration site initially at a constant altitude of $\sim$0.6 R$_{\odot}$ in the corona, followed by a shift to $\sim$0.5 R$_{\odot}$. The anti-sunward beams travel a distance of 170$_{-97}^{+174}$ Mm (and possibly further) away from the acceleration site, while those travelling toward the sun come to a stop sooner, reaching a smaller distance of 112$_{-76}^{+84}$ Mm. We show that the stopping distance for the sunward beams may depend on the total number density and the velocity of the beam. Our study concludes that a detailed statistical analysis of herringbone fine structure can provide information on the physical properties of the corona which lead to these relatively rare radio bursts.

Energetics and optical properties of $6$-dimensional rotating black hole in pure Gauss-Bonnet gravity

We study physical processes around a rotating black hole in pure Gauss-Bonnet (GB) gravity. In pure GB gravity, gravitational potential has slower fall off as compared to the corresponding Einstein potential in the same dimension. It is therefore expected that the energetics of pure GB black hole would be weaker, and our analysis bears out that the efficiency of energy extraction by Penrose process is increased to $25.8\%$ and particle acceleration is increased to $55.28\%$, and optical shadow of the black hole is decreased. These are the distinguishing in principle observable features of pure GB black hole.

Energetics and optical properties of $6$-dimensional rotating black hole in pure Gauss-Bonnet gravity [Cross-Listing]

We study physical processes around a rotating black hole in pure Gauss-Bonnet (GB) gravity. In pure GB gravity, gravitational potential has slower fall off as compared to the corresponding Einstein potential in the same dimension. It is therefore expected that the energetics of pure GB black hole would be weaker, and our analysis bears out that the efficiency of energy extraction by Penrose process is increased to $25.8\%$ and particle acceleration is increased to $55.28\%$, and optical shadow of the black hole is decreased. These are the distinguishing in principle observable features of pure GB black hole.

Gamma-Ray Bursts as Sources of Strong Magnetic Fields

Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) are the strongest explosions in the Universe, which due to their extreme character likely involve some of the strongest magnetic fields in nature. This review discusses the possible roles of magnetic fields in GRBs, from their central engines, through the launching, acceleration and collimation of their ultra-relativistic jets, to the dissipation and particle acceleration that power their $\gamma$-ray emission, and the powerful blast wave they drive into the surrounding medium that generates their long-lived afterglow emission. An emphasis is put on particular areas in which there have been interesting developments in recent years.

Magnetic reconnection: from the Sweet-Parker model to stochastic plasmoid chains [Cross-Listing]

(abridged) Magnetic reconnection is the topological reconfiguration of the magnetic field in a plasma, accompanied by the violent release of energy and particle acceleration. Reconnection is as ubiquitous as plasmas themselves, with solar flares perhaps the most popular example. Over the last few years, the theoretical understanding of magnetic reconnection in large-scale fluid systems has undergone a major paradigm shift. The steady-state model of reconnection described by the famous Sweet-Parker (SP) theory, which dominated the field for ~50 years, has been replaced with an essentially time-dependent, bursty picture of the reconnection layer, dominated by the continuous formation and ejection of multiple secondary islands (plasmoids). Whereas in the SP model reconnection was predicted to be slow, a major implication of this new paradigm is that reconnection in fluid systems is fast (i.e., independent of the Lundquist number), provided that the system is large enough. This conceptual shift hinges on the realization that SP-like current layers are violently unstable to the plasmoid instability - implying, therefore, that such current sheets are super-critically unstable and thus can never form in the first place. This suggests that the formation of a current sheet and the subsequent reconnection process cannot be decoupled, as is commonly assumed. This paper provides an introductory-level overview of the recent developments in reconnection theory and simulations that led to this essentially new framework. We briefly discuss the role played by the plasmoid instability in selected applications, and describe some of the outstanding challenges that remain at the frontier of this subject. Amongst these are the analytical and numerical extension of the plasmoid instability to (i) 3D and (ii) non-MHD regimes. New results are reported in both cases.

Millisecond newly born pulsars as efficient accelerators of electrons

The newly born millisecond pulsars are investigated as possible energy sources for creating ultra-high energy electrons. The transfer of energy from the star rotation to high energy electrons takes place through the Landau damping of centrifugally driven (via a two stream instability) electrostatic Langmuir waves. Generated in the bulk magnetosphere plasma, such waves grow to high amplitudes, and then damp, very effectively, on relativistic electrons driving them to even higher energies. We show that the rate of transfer of energy is so efficient that no energy losses might affect the mechanism of particle acceleration; the electrons might achieve energies of the order of 10^{18}eV for parameters characteristic of a young star.

On the cosmic ray spectrum from type II Supernovae

One of the most important challenges for the largely accepted idea that Galactic CRs are accelerated in SNR shocks is the maximum energy at which particles can be accelerated. The resonant streaming instability, long invoked for magnetic field amplification at shocks, can not provide sufficiently high fields and efficient enough scattering so as to ensure particle acceleration up to the knee. Here we discuss the non-resonant version of this instability which, with its faster growth and larger value of the amplified field, increases the achievable maximum energy. Because of their higher explosion rate, we focus on type II SNe expanding in their red supergiant wind and we find that the transition between Ejecta Dominated (ED) and Sedov-Taylor (ST) phases takes place at very early times. In this environment, the accelerated particle spectrum shows no high energy exponential cut-off but a spectral break at the maximum energy (EM). Moreover, the maximum energy of protons can easily reach PeV energies. With this model, we tried to fit KASCADE Grande and ARGO -YBJ data but failed to find a parameter combination that can explain both data sets. We discuss the different scenarios implied by the two data sets.

On the novel mechanism of acceleration of cosmic particles

A novel model of particle acceleration in the rotating magnetospheres of active galactic nuclei (AGN) and pulsars is constructed. The particle energies may be boosted up to enormous energies in a several step mechanism. In the first stage, the Langmuir waves are centrifugally excited and amplified by means of a parametric process that efficiently pumps rotational energy to excite electrostatic fields. By considering the pulsars it is shown that the Langmuir waves very soon Landau damp on the relativistic electrons already present in a magnetosphere. It has been found that the process is so efficient that no energy losses might affect the mechanism of particle acceleration. Applying typical parameters for young pulsars we have shown that by means of this process the electrons might achieve energies of the order of $10^{18}$ eV. The situation in AGN magnetospheres is slightly different. In the second stage, the process of "Langmuir collapse" develops, creating appropriate conditions for transferring electric energy to boost up already high proton energies to much higher values. As in the previous case, one can show that various energy losses are relatively weak, and do not impose any significant constraints on maximum achievable proton energies of the order of $10^{21}$ eV.

$Suzaku$ X-ray study of the double radio relic galaxy cluster CIZA J2242.8+5301

Content: We present the results from $Suzaku$ observations of the merging cluster of galaxies CIZA J2242.8+5301 at $z$=0.192. Aims. To study the physics of gas heating and particle acceleration in cluster mergers, we investigated the X-ray emission from CIZA J2242.8+5301, which hosts two giant radio relics in the northern/southern part of the cluster. Methods. We analyzed data from three-pointed Suzaku observations of CIZA J2242.8+5301 to derive the temperature distribution in four different directions. Results: The Intra-Cluster Medium (ICM) temperature shows a remarkable drop from 8.5$_{-0.6}^{+0.8}$ keV to 2.7$_{-0.4}^{+0.7}$ keV across the northern radio relic. The temperature drop is consistent with a Mach number ${\cal M}_n=2.7^{+0.7}_{-0.4}$ and a shock velocity $v_{shock:n}=2300_{-400}^{+700}\rm\,km\,s^{-1}$. We also confirm the temperature drop across the southern radio relic. However, the ICM temperature beyond this relic is much higher than beyond the northern one, which gives a Mach number ${\cal M}_s=1.7^{+0.4}_{-0.3}$ and shock velocity $v_{shock:s}=2040_{-410}^{+550}\rm \,km\,s^{-1}$. These results agree with other systems showing a relationship between the radio relics and shock fronts which are induced by merging activity. We compare the X-ray derived Mach numbers with the radio derived Mach numbers from the radio spectral index under the assumption of diffusive shock acceleration in the linear test particle regime. For the northern radio relic, the Mach numbers derived from X-ray and radio observations agree with each other. Based on the shock velocities, we estimate that CIZA J2242.8+5301 is observed approximately 0.6 Gyr after core passage. The magnetic field pressure at the northern relic is estimated to be 9% of the thermal pressure.

Particle acceleration by Black Holes in a model of $f(R)$ gravity

Particle collisions are considered within the context of $f(R)$ gravity described by $f(R)=R+2\alpha \sqrt{R}$, where R stands for the Ricci scalar and $\alpha $ is a non-zero constant. The center of mass (CM) energy of colliding particles near the horizon grows unbounded. Addition of a cosmological constant does not change the outcome. When the collision occurs near a non- black hole, i.e. a naked singularity (for $\alpha >0)$, the particles are absorbed with zero total CM energy. Collisions of a massless outgoing Hawking photon with an infalling particle and collision of two photons following null-geodesics are also taken into account.

Particle acceleration by Black Holes in a model of $f(R)$ gravity [Cross-Listing]

Particle collisions are considered within the context of $f(R)$ gravity described by $f(R)=R+2\alpha \sqrt{R}$, where R stands for the Ricci scalar and $\alpha $ is a non-zero constant. The center of mass (CM) energy of colliding particles near the horizon grows unbounded. Addition of a cosmological constant does not change the outcome. When the collision occurs near a non- black hole, i.e. a naked singularity (for $\alpha >0)$, the particles are absorbed with zero total CM energy. Collisions of a massless outgoing Hawking photon with an infalling particle and collision of two photons following null-geodesics are also taken into account.

Particle Acceleration by Static Black Holes in a Model of f(R) Gravity [Replacement]

Particle collisions are considered within the context of $f(R)$ gravity described by $f(R)=R+2\alpha \sqrt{R}$, where R stands for the Ricci scalar and $\alpha $ is a non-zero constant. The center of mass (CM) energy of head-on colliding particles moving in opposite radial directions near the horizon (for $\alpha <0$) grows unbounded. Collision of particles in the same direction yields finite energy which is of no interest. We note that an outgoing geodesic particle can be considered as the yield of a decay process near the horizon. Addition of a cosmological constant does not change the outcome. When the collision occurs near a non- black hole, i.e. a naked singularity (for $\alpha >0)$, the particles are absorbed with zero total CM energy. Collision of a massless outgoing Hawking photon with an infalling particle and collision of two opposite photons following null-geodesics are also taken into account.

Horizon-Scale Lepton Acceleration in Jets: Explaining the Compact Radio Emission in M87

It has now become clear that the radio jet in the giant elliptical galaxy M87 must turn on very close to the black hole. This implies the efficient acceleration of leptons within the jet at scales much smaller than feasible by the typical dissipative events usually invoked to explain jet synchrotron emission. Here we show that the stagnation surface, the separatrix between material that falls back into the black hole and material that is accelerated outward forming the jet, is a natural site of pair formation and particle acceleration. This occurs via an inverse-Compton pair catastrophe driven by unscreened electric fields within the charge-starved region about the stagnation surface and substantially amplified by a post-gap cascade. For typical estimates of the jet properties in M87, we find excellent quantitive agreement between the predicted relativistic lepton densities and those required by recent high-frequency radio observations of M87. This mechanism fails to adequately fill a putative jet from Sagittarius A* with relativistic leptons, which may explain the lack of an obvious radio jet in the Galactic center. Finally, this process implies a relationship between the kinetic jet power and the gamma-ray luminosity of blazars, produced during the post-gap cascade.

Horizon structure of rotating Bardeen black hole and particle acceleration [Replacement]

We investigate the horizon structure and ergosphere in a rotating Bardeen regular black hole, a rotating generalization of the well known regular black hole due to Bardeen \cite{Bardeen:1968}, which has an additional parameter ($g$) due to magnetic charge, apart from mass ($M$) and rotation parameter ($a$). Interestingly, for each value of parameter $g$, there exist a critical rotation parameter ($a=a_{E}$), which corresponds to an extremal black hole with degenerate horizons, while for $a<a_{E}$ describes a non-extremal black hole with two horizons, and no black hole for $a>a_{E}$. We find that the extremal value $a_E$ is also influenced by the parameter $g$ and so is the ergosphere. While the value of $a_E$ remarkably decreases when compared with the Kerr black hole, the ergosphere becomes more thick with increase in $g$. We also study collision of two equal mass particle near the horizon of this black hole, and explicitly bring out the effect of parameter $g$. The center-of-mass energy ($E_{CM}$) not only depends on rotation parameter $a$, but also on parameter $g$. It is demonstrated that the $E_{CM}$ could be arbitrary high in the extremal cases when one of the colliding particle has critical angular momentum, thereby suggesting that the rotating Bardeen regular black hole can act as a particle accelerator. Furthermore, we also show that, for a nonextremal black hole, there exists a finite upper limit of $E_{CM}$, which changes with charge $g$. Our results, in the limit $g \rightarrow 0$, goes over to the Kerr black hole.

 

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