Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1-1-2011

Publication Title

The American Astronomical Society




Using our new 3-D relativistic particle-in-cell (PIC) code parallelized with MPI, we investigated long-term particle acceleration associated with a relativistic electron-positron jet propagating in an unmagnetized ambient electron-positron plasma. The simulations were performed using a much longer simulation system than our previous simulations in order to investigate the full nonlinear stage of the Weibel instability and its particle acceleration mechanism. Cold jet electrons are thermalized and ambient electrons are accelerated in the resulting shocks. Acceleration of ambient electrons leads to a maximum ambient electron density three times larger than the original value as predicted by hydrodynamic shock compression. In the jet (reverse) shock behind the bow (forward) shock the stron gest electromagnetic fields are generated. These fields may lead to time dependent afterglow emission. In order to calculate radiation from first principles that goes beyond the standard synchrotron model used in astrophysical objects we have used PIC simulations. Initially we calculated radiation from electrons propagating in a uniform parallel magnetic field to verify the technique. We then used the technique to calculate emission from electrons in a small simulation system. From these simulations we obtained spectra which are consistent with those generated from electrons propa- gating in turbulent magnetic fields with red noise. This turbulent magnetic field is similar to the magnetic field generated at an early nonlinear stage of the Weibel instability. A fully developed shock within a larger simulation system may generate a jitter/synchrotron spectrum.


M. Oka, and G. J. Fishman