Magnetowave induced plasma wakefield acceleration for ultrahigh energy cosmic rays

Feng Yin Chang*, Pisin Chen, Guey-Lin Lin, Robert Noble, Richard Sydora

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Magnetowave induced plasma wakefield acceleration (MPWA) in a relativistic astrophysical outflow has been proposed as a viable mechanism for the acceleration of cosmic particles to ultrahigh energies. Here we present simulation results that clearly demonstrate the viability of this mechanism for the first time. We invoke the high frequency and high speed whistler mode for the driving pulse. The plasma wakefield obtained in the simulations compares favorably with our newly developed relativistic theory of the MPWA. We show that, under appropriate conditions, the plasma wakefield maintains very high coherence and can sustain high-gradient acceleration over hundreds of plasma skin depths. Invoking active galactic nuclei as the site, we show that MPWA production of ultrahigh energy cosmic rays beyond ZeV (1021eV) is possible.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111101
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - 17 Mar 2009

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