Kinetic simulation of electron injection by electrostatic waves

Dieckmann, M.E. and Eliasson, B. and Stathopoulos, A. and Ynnerman, A. (2004) Kinetic simulation of electron injection by electrostatic waves. Baltic Astronomy, 13 (2). pp. 284-288. ISSN 1392-0049

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Radio-synchrotron emission is evidence for relativistic electrons at supernova remnant shocks. These electrons may have been accelerated by Fermi acceleration at perpendicular shocks which requires them to have initial energies above 100 keV. Such electrons cannot be found in the interstellar medium. Previous particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations have shown that the transport of electrons across a magnetic field by an electrostatic wave can, in principle, accelerate electrons to such energies. However, there it was also shown that the wave is unstable and that the resulting acceleration is shortlived. Here we compare results obtained from PIC with those from Vlasov simulations for identical plasma parameters. We show that the life-time of the wave in the Vlasov simulations substantially exceeds previous findings, in principle allowing for electron acceleration to relativistic speeds.