Particle Acceleration by Interplanetary Shocks

G. P. Zank, G. Li, W. K. Rice

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Interplanetary shocks can accelerate both solar wind ions and flare-released high-energy particles to high energies. The acceleration process is generally thought to be diffusive shock acceleration although almost entirely based on a highly simplified steady-state description. The importance of the evolving shock and the time constraints for accelerating particles diffusively at a shock, coupled to the inhomogeneous magnetic field and the expanding solar wind have not been widely recognized. We have developed recently a fully time-dependent model to describe particle acceleration at an expanding interplanetary shock wave, including the self-consistent calculation of the spatial diffusion coefficient in the vicinity of the shock, particle escape and transport into the upstream wind. We review results for strong and weak interplanetary shocks, showing intensity profiles, escaping particle spectra at 1 AU, spectra at and behind the shock, particle distributions, and estimate the maximum possible energies that can be accelerated at an interplanetary shock. Preliminary results for 2D time-dependent interplanetary shocks are presented too.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2002
EventAmerican Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2002 - , United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Dec 200210 Dec 2002


ConferenceAmerican Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2002
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • 2111 Ejecta
  • driver gases
  • and magnetic clouds
  • 2114 Energetic particles
  • heliospheric (7514)
  • 2134 Interplanetary magnetic fields
  • 2139 Interplanetary shocks


Dive into the research topics of 'Particle Acceleration by Interplanetary Shocks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this