Two-stage acceleration of interstellar ions driven by high-energy lepton plasma flows

  • YunQian Cui
  • ZhengMing ShengEmail author
  • QuanMing Lu
  • YuTong Li
  • Jie Zhang
Article Plasma Physics


We present the particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation results of the interaction of a high-energy lepton plasma flow with background electron-proton plasma and focus on the acceleration processes of the protons. It is found that the acceleration follows a two-stage process. In the first stage, protons are significantly accelerated transversely (perpendicular to the lepton flow) by the turbulent magnetic field “islands” generated via the strong Weibel-type instabilities. The accelerated protons shows a perfect inverse-power energy spectrum. As the interaction continues, a shockwave structure forms and the protons in front of the shockwave are reflected at twice of the shock speed, resulting in a quasi-monoenergetic peak located near 200 MeV under the simulation parameters. The presented scenario of ion acceleration may be relevant to cosmic-ray generation in some astrophysical environments.


particle acceleration Fermi acceleration collisionless shock lepton plasma flow 


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • YunQian Cui
    • 1
  • ZhengMing Sheng
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • QuanMing Lu
    • 5
  • YuTong Li
    • 1
  • Jie Zhang
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Beijing National Laboratory of Condensed Matter PhysicsInstitute of Physics, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, Department of PhysicsUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgowUK
  3. 3.Key Laboratory for Laser Plasmas (MoE) and Department of Physics and AstronomyShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  4. 4.IFSA Collaborative Innovation CenterShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  5. 5.School of Earth and Space SciencesUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaHefeiChina

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