Magnetic reconnection detonation in supernova remnants

Horace Zhang, Yang Gao, Chung K. Law

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Expansion of supernova remnants (SNRs) is a key process that refreshes the interstellar medium (ISM) in which a new generation of stars is born. The dynamics and radiative properties of the SNR expansion front not only reflect the physical environment of the old ISM surrounding the supernova, but they also provide information about the refreshed ISM. However there are challenges arising from recent observations: the expansion of SNRs cannot be simply explained by the conventional law of shock wave expansion, while the high energy radiation requires an additional electron acceleration mechanism in the shock front beyond thermal collision. We consider herein the detonation wave description of the SNR expansion, in which magnetic reconnection follows the shock front and transfers the magnetic field energy to both the fluid thermal energy and particle kinetic energy. The structure of the magnetic reconnection detonation (MRD) model is identified based on scaling analysis, in which properties of both the old and refreshed ISM are also predicted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2017
Event10th U.S. National Combustion Meeting - College Park, United States
Duration: Apr 23 2017Apr 26 2017


Other10th U.S. National Combustion Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityCollege Park

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • Detonation
  • Magnetic reconnection
  • Shock
  • Supernova remnant


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