Electrostatic Potentials in Supernova Remnant Shocks
High Energy Density Laboratory Astrophysics
Recent advances in the understanding of the properties of supernova remnant shocks have been precipitated by the Chandra and XMM X-ray Observatories, and the HESS AtmosphericČerenkov Telescope in the TeV band. A critical problem for this field is the understanding of the relative degree of dissipative heating/energization of electrons and ions in the shock layer. This impacts the interpretation of X-ray observations, and moreover influences the efficiency of injection into the acceleration
... e acceleration process, which in turn feeds back into the thermal shock layer energetics and dynamics. This paper outlines the first stages of our exploration of the role of charge separation potentials in non-relativistic electronion shocks where the inertial gyro-scales are widely disparate, using results from a Monte Carlo simulation. Charge density spatial profiles were obtained in the linear regime, sampling the inertial scales for both ions and electrons, for different magnetic field obliquities. These were readily integrated to acquire electric field profiles in the absence of self-consistent, spatial readjustments between the electrons and the ions. It was found that while diffusion plays little role in modulating the linear field structure in highly oblique and perpendicular shocks, in quasi-parallel shocks, where charge separations induced by gyrations are small, and shock-layer electric fields are predominantly generated on diffusive scales.