We study the thermalization, injection, and acceleration of ions with different mass/charge ratios, A/Z, in nonrelativistic collisionless shocks via hybrid (kinetic ions-fluid electrons) simulations. In general, ions thermalize to a postshock temperature proportional to A. When diffusive shock acceleration is efficient, ions develop a nonthermal tail whose extent scales with Z and whose normalization is enhanced as (A/Z)2 so that incompletely ionized heavy ions are preferentially accelerated. We discuss how these findings can explain observed heavy-ion enhancements in Galactic cosmic rays.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)