Cosmic ray acceleration at modified shocks

Meli, A.
Biermann, P. L.
Dimitrakoudis, S.
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The non-linear back reaction of accelerated cosmic rays at the shock fronts, leads to the formation of a smooth precursor with a length scale corresponding to the diffusive scale of the energetic particles. Past works claimed that shocklets could be created in the precursor region of a specific shock width, which might energize few thermal particles to sufficient acceleration and furthermore this precursor region may act as confining large angle scatterer for very high energy cosmic rays. On the other hand, it has been shown that the smoothing of the shock front could lower the acceleration efficiency. These controversies motivated us to investigate numerically by Monte Carlo simulations the particle acceleration efficiency in oblique modified shocks. The results show flatter spectra compared to the spectra of the pressumed sharp discontinuity shock fronts. The findings are in accordance with theoretical predictions, since the scattering inside the precursor confines high energy particles to further scattering, resulting in higher energies making the whole acceleration process more efficient.
Comment: 4 pages, 2 figures, proceedings of the 30th ICRC, Merida, Mexico 2007