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Particle Acceleration at Interplanetary Shocks


This paper briefly reviews proton acceleration at interplanetary shocks. This is key to describing the acceleration of heavy ions at interplanetary shocks because wave excitation—and hence particle scattering—at oblique shocks is controlled by the protons and not the heavy ions. Heavy ions behave as test particles, and their acceleration characteristics are controlled by the properties of proton-excited turbulence. As a result, the resonance condition for heavy ions introduces distinctly different signatures in abundance, spectra, and intensity profiles, depending on ion mass and charge. Self-consistent models of heavy-ion acceleration and the resulting fractionation are discussed. This includes discussion of the injection problem and the acceleration characteristics of quasi-parallel and quasi-perpendicular shocks.

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Zank, G.P., Li, G. & Verkhoglyadova, O. Particle Acceleration at Interplanetary Shocks. Space Sci Rev 130, 255–272 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11214-007-9214-2

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