Relativistic cosmic-ray spectra in the fully nonlinear theory of shock acceleration Academic Article uri icon


  • The non-linear theory of shock acceleration was generalized to include wave dynamics. In the limit of rapid wave damping, it is found that a finite wave velocity tempers the acceleration of high Mach number shocks and limits the maximum compression ratio even when energy loss is important. For a given spectrum, the efficiency of relativistic particle production is essentially independent of v sub Ph. For the three families shown, the percentage of kinetic energy flux going into relativistic particles is (1) 72 percent, (2) 44 percent, and (3) 26 percent (this includes the energy loss at the upper energy cutoff). Even small v sub ph, typical of the HISM, produce quasi-universal spectra that depend only weakly on the acoustic Mach number. These spectra should be close enough to e(-2) to satisfy cosmic ray source requirements.

publication date

  • January 1, 1985