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2019MNRAS.488.2235W - Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 488, 2235-2252 (2019/September-2)

Evolution of cosmic ray electron spectra in magnetohydrodynamical simulations.


Abstract (from CDS):

Cosmic ray (CR) electrons reveal key insights into the non-thermal physics of the interstellar medium (ISM), galaxies, galaxy clusters, and active galactic nuclei by means of their inverse Compton (IC) γ-ray emission and synchrotron emission in magnetic fields. While magnetohydrodynamical (MHD) simulations with CR protons capture their dynamical impact on these systems, only few computational studies include CR electron physics because of the short cooling time-scales and complex hysteresis effects, which require a numerically expensive, high-resolution spectral treatment. Since CR electrons produce important non-thermal observational signatures, such a spectral CR electron treatment is important to link MHD simulations to observations. We present an efficient post-processing code for Cosmic Ray Electron Spectra that are evolved in Time (CREST) on Lagrangian tracer particles. The CR electron spectra are very accurately evolved on comparably large MHD time-steps owing to an innovative hybrid numerical-analytical scheme. CREST is coupled to the cosmological MHD code AREPO and treats all important aspects of spectral CR electron evolution such as adiabatic expansion and compression, Coulomb losses, radiative losses in form of IC, bremsstrahlung and synchrotron processes, diffusive shock acceleration and reacceleration, Fermi-II reacceleration, and secondary electron injection. After showing various code validations of idealized one-zone simulations, we study the coupling of CREST to MHD simulations. We demonstrate that the CR electron spectra are efficiently and accurately evolved in shock-tube and Sedov-Taylor blast wave simulations. This opens up the possibility to produce self-consistent synthetic observables of non-thermal emission processes in various astrophysical environments.

Abstract Copyright: © 2019 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society

Journal keyword(s): acceleration of particles - MHD - radiation mechanisms: non-thermal - shock waves - methods: numerical - cosmic rays

Simbad objects: 4

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