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Astron. Astrophys. 347, 370-374 (1999)

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On "box" models of shock acceleration and electron synchrotron spectra

Luke O'C. Drury 1, Peter Duffy 2, David Eichler 3 and Apostolos Mastichiadis 4

1 School of Cosmic Physics, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 5 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, Ireland
2 Department of Mathematical Physics, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland
3 Department of Physics, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel
4 University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Received 3 February 1999 / Accepted 4 May 1999


The recent detection of high energy [FORMULA]-rays coming from supernova remnants and active galactic nuclei has revived interest in the diffusive shock acceleration of electrons. In the present paper we examine the basis of the so-called "box" model for particle acceleration and present a more physical version of it. Using this we determine simple criteria for the conditions under which "pile-ups" can occur in shock accelerated electron spectra subject to synchrotron or inverse Compton losses (the latter in the Thompson limit). An extension to include nonlinear effects is proposed.

Key words: acceleration of particles – shock waves – ISM: cosmic rays – gamma rays: theory

Send offprint requests to: Luke O'C Drury

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: June 18, 1999