North Carolina State University
Particle Acceleration in Supernova Remnant Shocks
Diffusive shock acceleration (DSA) has been intensively investigated since its introduction in 1976-78. One of the more amazing aspects of this theory is that there are still interesting unsolved problems after 35 years of work. Diffusive shock acceleration is difficult to fully characterize because it is intrinsically efficient and therefore nonlinear. I will give an overview of nonlinear DSA including shock smoothing, magnetic field amplification, and particle escape. In many ways, supernova remnants (SNRs) are the most interesting and fruitful objects for studying DSA. Besides almost certainly being the main source for the bulk of galactic cosmic rays (CRs), the broadband radiation observed from individual SNRs gives the most complete picture of particle acceleration available. I will describe the application of a nonlinear model of DSA to CR production in specific SNRs including SNR RX J1713 and Vela Jr.