Microphysics of a multidimensional high beta low Mach number shock

Monday, 15 December 2014
Shuichi Matsukiyo, ESST Kyushu University, Kasuga, Japan and Yosuke Matsumoto, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
It is generally thought that a high beta shock is weak so that its structre is relatively laminar and stationary. Such low Mach number shocks have not been paid much attention in terms of particle acceleration. However, Voyager spacecraft revealed that the fluxes of not only the non-thermal ions, which are called as the termination shock particles, but also of the non-thermal electrons are enhanced at the crossings of the termination shock. The heliospheric termination shock has a high effective beta due to the presence of pickup ions which are the component having rather high thermal energy. Radio synchrotron emissions from relics of galaxy cluster mergers imply the presence of relativistic electrons accelerated in merger shocks. A plasma beta of such a merger shock is also thought to be rather high so that the merger shocks are usually assumed to have low Mach numbers. These observational facts imply that even a low Mach number shock can be a good accelerator of non-thermal particles. Here, we perform two-dimensional full particle-in-cell simulation to study microstructure of a high beta low Mach number shock and the associated electron acceleration process. Although the effective magnotosonic Mach number is rather low, ~2.6, the structure of the transition region is highly complex. Ion and electron scale structures coexist. Furthermore, some electrons are accelerated to high energy. We will discuss the mechanisms of producing those two-dimensional microstructures and high energy electrons.