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High-energy particle acceleration by explosive electromagnetic interaction in an accretion disk

Haswell, C. A.; Tajima, T. and Sakai, J. I. (1992). High-energy particle acceleration by explosive electromagnetic interaction in an accretion disk. Astrophysical Journal, 401(2) pp. 495–507.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/172081
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Abstract

By examining electromagnetic field evolution occurring in an accretion disk around a compact object, we arrive at an explosive mechanism of particle acceleration. Flux-freezing in the differentially rotating disk causes the seed and/or generated magnetic field to wrap up tightly, becoming highly sheared and locally predominantly azimuthal in orientation. We show how asymptotically nonlinear solutions for the electromagnetic fields may arise in isolated plasma blobs as a result of the driving of the fluid equations by the accretion flow. These fields are capable of rapidly accelerating charged particles from the disk. Acceleration through the present mechanism from AGN can give rise to energies beyond 10 exp 20 eV. Such a mechanism may present an explanation for the extragalactic origin of the most energetic observed cosmic rays.

Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 1538-4357
Keywords: ACCRETION DISKS, ELECTROMAGNETIC INTERACTIONS, MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMICS, PARTICLE ACCELERATION, ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI, COSMIC RAYS, INTERSTELLAR MAGNETIC FIELDS, MAGNETIC FIELD CONFIGURATIONS
Academic Unit/Department: Science > Physical Sciences
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)
Item ID: 11225
Depositing User: Astrid Peterkin
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2008 09:30
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2010 20:09
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/11225
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