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Particle Acceleration in Relativistic Flows


Kirk,  J. G.
Division Prof. Dr. Werner Hofmann, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Kirk, J. G. (2004). Particle Acceleration in Relativistic Flows. Talk presented at 22nd Texas Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics. Stanford. 2004-12-13 - 2004-12-17.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0011-8AB6-1
A property common to several different astrophysical sources of high-energy gamma-rays is the presence of bulk motion at relativistic speed. The intrinsic spectra of the nonthermal radiating particles also show interesting similarities, with a pronounced hardening towards lower energies. This suggests two distinct acceleration mechanisms could be at work in these sources. At high energies, the stochastic first-order Fermi process at shocks seems to provide a reasonable explanation. I will briefly review the status of this mechanism before discussing the possibility that, at lower energies, non-stochastic acceleration in the induced electric field of a relativistic current sheet plays a role.