Nordita Astrophysics seminars

First order particle acceleration in magnetically-driven flows

by Andrey Beresnyak (Naval Research Laboratory)

122:026 ()


We demonstrate that particles are regularly accelerated while experiencing curvature drift in flows driven by magnetic tension. Some examples of such flows include spontaneous turbulent reconnection and decaying magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence, where magnetic field relaxes to a lower-energy configuration and transfers part of its energy to kinetic motions. The opposite process, such as dynamo, will actually result in the net cooling of particles by the curvature drift. Being very generic, this acceleration mechanism is likely to be responsible in production of non-thermal particle distribution in magnetically-dominant environments such as solar chromosphere, pulsar magnetosphere, jets from supermassive black holes, gamma-ray bursts, etc.