Particle acceleration, magnetic field generation, and emission in relativistic pair jets

Research paper by K. -I. Nishikawa, P. Hardee, C. B. Hededal, G. Richardson, H. Sol, R. Preece, G. J. Fishman

Indexed on: 16 Feb '05Published on: 16 Feb '05Published in: Astrophysics


Shock acceleration is a ubiquitous phenomenon in astrophysical plasmas. Plasma waves and their associated instabilities (e.g., Buneman, Weibel and other two-stream instabilities) created in collisionless shocks are responsible for particle (electron, positron, and ion) acceleration. Using a 3-D relativistic electromagnetic particle (REMP) code, we have investigated particle acceleration associated with a relativistic jet front propagating into an ambient plasma. We find that the growth times of Weibel instability are proportional to the Lorentz factors of jets. Simulations show that the Weibel instability created in the collisionless shock front accelerates jet and ambient particles both perpendicular and parallel to the jet propagation direction.