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Exploring Particle Acceleration in Gamma-Ray Binaries


Rieger,  F. M.
Division Prof. Dr. Werner Hofmann, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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(Preprint), 174KB

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Bosch-Ramon, V., & Rieger, F. M. (2012). Exploring Particle Acceleration in Gamma-Ray Binaries. In Astroparticle, Particle, Space Physics and Detectors for Physics Applications: Proceedings of the 13th ICATPP Conference (pp. 219-225).

Binary systems can be powerful sources of non-thermal emission from radio to gamma rays. When the latter are detected, then these objects are known as gamma-ray binaries. In this work, we explore, in the context of gamma-ray binaries, different acceleration processes to estimate their efficiency: Fermi I, Fermi II, shear acceleration, the converter mechanism, and magnetic reconnection. We find that Fermi I acceleration in a mildly relativistic shock can provide, although marginally, the multi-10 TeV particles required to explain observations. Shear acceleration may be a complementary mechanism, giving particles the final boost to reach such a high energies. Fermi II acceleration may be too slow to account for the observed very high energy photons, but may be suitable to explain extended low-energy emission. The converter mechanism seems to require rather high Lorentz factors but cannot be discarded a priori. Standard relativistic shock acceleration requires a highly turbulent, weakly magnetized downstream medium; magnetic reconnection, by itself possibly insufficient to reach very high energies, could perhaps facilitate such a conditions. Further theoretical developments, and a better source characterization, are needed to pinpoint the dominant acceleration mechanism, which need not be one and the same in all sources.