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Cosmic rays in intermittent magnetic fields

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Anvar ShukurovORCiD, Andrew Snodin, Amit Seta, Professor Paul BushbyORCiD, Dr Toby Wood



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


The propagation of cosmic rays in turbulent magnetic fields is a diffusive process driven by the scattering of the charged particles by random magnetic fluctuations. Such fields are usually highly intermittent, consisting of intense magnetic filaments and ribbons surrounded by weaker, unstructured fluctuations. Studies of cosmic ray propagation have largely overlooked intermittency, instead adopting Gaussian random magnetic fields. Using test particle simulations, we calculate cosmic ray diffusivity in intermittent, dynamo-generated magnetic fields. The results are compared with those obtained from non-intermittent magnetic fields having identical power spectra. The presence of magnetic intermittency significantly enhances cosmic ray diffusion over a wide range of particle energies. We demonstrate that the results can be interpreted in terms of a correlated random walk.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Shukurov A, Snodin AP, Seta A, Bushby PJ, Wood TS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Astrophysical Journal Letters

Year: 2017

Volume: 839

Issue: 1

Print publication date: 10/04/2017

Online publication date: 12/04/2017

Acceptance date: 31/03/2017

Date deposited: 03/04/2017

ISSN (print): 2041-8205

ISSN (electronic): 2041-8213

Publisher: IOP Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.3847/2041-8213/aa6aa6


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Funder referenceFunder name
ST/N000900/1STFC (formerly PPARC)
RPG-2014-427Leverhulme Trust, The