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Eli Waxman
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Eli Waxman

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High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (34)
Astrophysics (16)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (14)
High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (11)
Physics - Fluid Dynamics (3)
Physics - Plasma Physics (2)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (2)
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (2)
Physics - Space Physics (1)

Publications Authored By Eli Waxman

We derive stringent constraints on the persistent source associated with FRB 121102: Size $10^{17}$ cm $Read More

The early part of a supernova (SN) light-curve is dominated by radiation escaping from the expanding shock-heated progenitor envelope. For polytropic Hydrogen envelopes, the properties of the emitted radiation are described by simple analytic expressions and are nearly independent of the polytropic index, $n$. This analytic description holds at early time, $t<$~few days, during which radiation escapes from shells initially lying near the stellar surface. Read More

We consider limits on the local ($z=0$) density ($n_0$) of extragalactic neutrino sources set by the nondetection of steady high-energy neutrino sources producing $\gtrsim50$ TeV muon multiplets in the present IceCube data, taking into account the redshift evolution, luminosity function and neutrino spectrum of the sources. We show that the lower limit depends moderately on source spectra and strongly on redshift evolution. We find $n_0\gtrsim{10}^{-8}-{10}^{-7}~{\rm Mpc}^{-3}$ for standard candle sources evolving rapidly, $n_s\propto{(1+z)}^3$, and $n_0\gtrsim{10}^{-6}-{10}^{-5}~{\rm Mpc}^{-3}$ for nonevolving sources. Read More

The earliest supernova (SN) emission is produced when the optical depth of the plasma lying ahead of the shock, which ejects the envelope, drops below c/v, where v is the shock velocity. This "breakout" may occur when the shock reaches the edge of the star, producing a bright X-ray/UV flash on time scales of seconds to a fraction of an hour, followed by UV/optical "cooling" emission from the expanding cooling envelope on a day time-scale. If the optical depth of circumstellar material (CSM) ejected from the progenitor star prior to the explosion is larger than c/v, the breakout will take place at larger radii, within the CSM, extending its duration to days time scale. Read More

We compare the isotropic equivalent 15-2000 keV gamma-ray energy, E_gamma, emitted by a sample of 91 swift Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) with known redshifts, with the isotropic equivalent fireball energy, E_fb, as estimated within the fireball model framework from X-ray afterglow observations of these bursts. The uncertainty in E_gamma, which spans the range of ~10^51 erg to ~10^53.5 erg, is approximately 25% on average, due mainly to the extrapolation from the BAT detector band to the 15-2000 keV band. Read More

The radius and surface composition of an exploding massive star,as well as the explosion energy per unit mass, can be measured using early UV observations of core collapse supernovae (SNe). We present the first results from a simultaneous GALEX/PTF search for early UV emission from SNe. Six Type II SNe and one Type II superluminous SN (SLSN-II) are clearly detected in the GALEX NUV data. Read More

The energy output (per logarithmic interval of particle energies) of Cosmic Rays (CRs) with energies $10{\rm GeV}\lesssim\varepsilon_p\lesssim100{\rm GeV}$ is $\sim 10^{47}\rm erg$ per solar mass of star$-$formation, based on the CR production rate in the Milky Way and in starburst galaxies, implying a generation rate of $\varepsilon_p^2Q\sim 10^{45}\rm erg~Mpc^{-3}~yr^{-1}$ in the local universe. It is only $\sim 10$ times larger than the output, $\varepsilon_p^2 Q=0.5\pm0. Read More

The joint analysis of anisotropy signals and chemical composition of ultra-high energy cosmic rays offers strong potential for shedding light on the sources of these particles. Following up on an earlier idea, this paper studies the anisotropies produced by protons of energy >E/Z, assuming that anisotropies at energy >E have been produced by nuclei of charge Z, which share the same magnetic rigidity. We calculate the number of secondary protons produced through photodisintegration of the primary heavy nuclei. Read More

We show that the recent AMS02 positron fraction measurement is consistent with a secondary origin for positrons, and does not require additional primary sources such as pulsars or dark matter. The measured positron fraction at high energy saturates the previously predicted upper bound for secondary production (Katz et al 2009), obtained by neglecting radiative losses. This coincidence, which will be further tested by upcoming AMS02 data at higher energy, is a compelling indication for a secondary source. Read More

The spectrum of radiation emitted following shock breakout from a star's surface with a power-law density profile $\rho \propto x^n$ is investigated. Assuming planar geometry, local Compton equilibrium and bremsstrahlung emission as the dominant photon production mechanism, numerical solutions are obtained for the photon number density and temperature profiles as a function of time, for hydrogen-helium envelopes. The temperature solutions are determined by the breakout shock velocity $v_0$ and the pre-shock breakout density $\rho_0$, and depend weakly on the value of n. Read More

We construct a simple and robust approach for deriving constraints on magnetic fields in galaxy clusters from rotation measure (RM) maps. Relaxing the commonly used assumptions of a correlation between the magnetic field strength and the plasma density and of a power-law (in wave number) magnetic field power spectrum, and using an efficient numerical analysis method, we test the consistency of a wide range of magnetic field models with RM maps of 11 extended sources in 5 clusters, for which the data were made available to us. We show that the data reveal no indication for a radial dependence of the average magnetic field strength, and in particular no indication for a correlation between the gas density and the field strength. Read More

Galaxy clusters, the largest gravitationally bound objects in the Universe, are thought to grow by accreting mass from their surroundings through large-scale virial shocks. Due to electron acceleration in such a shock, it should appear as a gamma-ray, hard X-ray, and radio ring, elongated towards the large-scale filaments feeding the cluster, coincident with a cutoff in the thermal Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) signal. However, no such signature was found so far, and the very existence of cluster virial shocks has remained a theory. Read More

We study the arrival directions of 69 ultra-high energy cosmic rays (UHECRs) observed at the Pierre Auger Observatory (PAO) with energies exceeding 55 EeV. We investigate whether the UHECRs exhibit the anisotropy signal expected if the primary particles are protons that originate in galaxies in the local universe, or in sources correlated with these galaxies. We cross-correlate the UHECR arrival directions with the positions of IRAS-PSCz and 2MASS-6dF galaxies taking into account particle energy losses during propagation. Read More

A unique feature of deflagration-to-detonation (DDT) white dwarf explosion models of SNe of type Ia is the presence of a strong shock wave propagating through the outer envelope. We consider the early emission expected in such models, which is produced by the expanding shock-heated outer part of the ejecta and precedes the emission driven by radioactive decay. We expand on earlier analyses by considering the modification of the pre-detonation density profile by the weak-shocks generated during the deflagration phase, the time evolution of the opacity, and the deviation of the post-shock equation of state from that obtained for radiation pressure domination. Read More

We show that converging spherical and cylindrical shock waves may ignite a detonation wave in a combustible medium, provided the radius at which the shocks become strong exceeds a critical radius, R_c. An approximate analytic expression for R_c is derived for an ideal gas equation of state and a simple (power-law-Arrhenius) reaction law, and shown to reproduce the results of numerical solutions. For typical acetylene-air experiments we find R_c~0. Read More

On May 31, 2011 UT a supernova (SN) exploded in the nearby galaxy M51 (the Whirlpool Galaxy). We discovered this event using small telescopes equipped with CCD cameras, as well as by the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) survey, and rapidly confirmed it to be a Type II supernova. Our early light curve and spectroscopy indicates that PTF11eon resulted from the explosion of a relatively compact progenitor star as evidenced by the rapid shock-breakout cooling seen in the light curve, the relatively low temperature in early-time spectra and the prompt appearance of low-ionization spectral features. Read More

We show that a collisionless shock necessarily forms during the shock breakout of a supernova (SN) surrounded by an optically thick wind. An intense non-thermal flash of <~ MeV gamma rays, hard X-rays and multi-TeV neutrinos is produced simultaneously with and following the soft X-ray breakout emission, carrying similar or larger energy than the soft emission. The non-thermal flash is detectable by current X-ray telescopes and may be detectable out to 10's of Mpc by km-scale neutrino telescopes. Read More

Exact bolometric light curves of supernova shock breakouts are derived based on the universal, non relativistic, planar breakout solutions (Sapir et al. 2011), assuming spherical symmetry, constant Thomson scattering opacity, \kappa, and angular intensity corresponding to the steady state planar limit. These approximations are accurate for progenitors with a scale height much smaller than the radius. Read More

The problem of a non-steady planar radiation mediated shock (RMS) breaking out from a surface with a power-law density profile, \rho\propto x^n, is numerically solved in the approximation of diffusion with constant opacity. For an appropriate choice of time, length and energy scales, determined by the breakout opacity, velocity and density, the solution is universal, i.e. Read More

In a recent analysis it was found that the local (z=0) rate at which gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) produce energy in 1 MeV photons, Q_GRB(z=0), is 300 times lower than the local energy production rate in ultra-high energy cosmic-rays. This may appear to be in contradiction with earlier results, according to which Q_GRB(z=0) is similar to the local energy production rate in >10^{19} eV cosmic-rays, Q_{10EeV}(z=0). This short (1 page) note identifies the origin of the apparent discrepancy and shows that Q_GRB(z=0) \sim Q_{10EeV}(z=0) holds. Read More

The growth rate of long wavelength kinetic instabilities arising due to the interaction of a collimated beam of relativistic particles and a cold unmagnetized plasma are calculated in the ultra relativistic limit. For sufficiently culminated beams, all long wave-length modes are shown to be Weibel-unstable, and a simple analytic expression for their growth rate is derived. For large transverse velocity spreads, these modes become stable. Read More

The structure of relativistic radiation mediated shocks (RRMS) propagating into a cold electron-proton plasma is calculated and analyzed. A qualitative discussion of the physics of relativistic and non relativistic shocks, including order of magnitude estimates for the relevant temperature and length scales, is presented. Detailed numerical solutions are derived for shock Lorentz factors $\Gamma_u$ in the range $6\le\Gamma_u\le30$, using a novel iteration technique solving the hydrodynamics and radiation transport equations (the protons, electrons and positrons are argued to be coupled by collective plasma processes and are treated as a fluid). Read More

The GeV and TeV emission from M82 and NGC 253 observed by Fermi, HESS, and VERITAS constrains the physics of cosmic rays (CRs) in these dense starbursts. We argue that the gamma rays are predominantly hadronic in origin, as expected by previous studies. The measured fluxes imply that pionic losses are efficient for CR protons in both galaxies: we show that a fraction F_cal ~ 0. Read More

We investigate the constraints imposed on the luminosity function (LF) of long duration Gamma Ray Bursts (LGRBs) by the flux distribution of bursts detected by the GBM at ~1 MeV, and the implications of the non detection of the vast majority, ~95%, of the LGRBs at higher energy, ~1 GeV, by the LAT detector. We find a LF that is consistent with those determined by BATSE and Swift. The non detections by LAT set upper limits on the ratio R of the prompt fluence at ~1 GeV to that at ~1 MeV. Read More

For a wide variety of initial and boundary conditions, adiabatic one dimensional flows of an ideal gas approach self-similar behavior when the characteristic length scale over which the flow takes place, $R$, diverges or tends to zero. It is commonly assumed that self-similarity is approached since in the $R\to\infty(0)$ limit the flow becomes independent of any characteristic length or time scales. In this case the flow fields $f(r,t)$ must be of the form $f(r,t)=t^{\alpha_f}F(r/R)$ with $R\propto(\pm t)^\alpha$. Read More

Shock waves driven by the release of energy at the center of a cold ideal gas sphere of initial density rho\propto r^{-omega} approach a self-similar (SLS) behavior, with velocity \dot{R}\propto R^delta, as R->\infty. For omega>3 the solutions are of the second-type, i.e. Read More

We derive a simple approximate model describing the early, hours to days, UV/optical supernova emission, which is produced by the expansion of the outer <~0.01 solar mass part of the shock-heated envelope, and precedes the optical emission driven by radioactive decay. Our model includes an approximate description of the time dependence of the opacity (due mainly to recombination), and of the deviation of the emitted spectrum from a black body spectrum. Read More

We derive expressions for the time integrated spectrum of Cosmic Rays (CRs) that are accelerated in a decelerating relativistic shock wave and escape ahead of the shock. It is assumed that at any given time the CRs have a power law form, carry a constant fraction of the energy E_tot of the shocked plasma, and escape continuously at the maximal energy attainable. The spectrum of escaping particles is highly sensitive to the instantaneous spectral index due to the fact that the minimal energy, E_min ~ \Gamma^2 m_pc^2 where \Gamma is the shock Lorentz factor, changes with time. Read More

This paper proposes and discusses a test of the chemical composition of ultra-high energy cosmic rays that relies on the anisotropy patterns measured as a function of energy. In particular, we show that if one records an anisotropy signal produced by heavy nuclei of charge Z above an energy E_{thr}, one should record an even stronger (possibly much stronger) anisotropy at energies >E_{thr}/Z due to the proton component that is expected to be associated with the sources of the heavy nuclei. This conclusion remains robust with respect to the parameters characterizing the sources and it does not depend at all on the modelling of astrophysical magnetic fields. Read More

We present a critical analysis of the observational constraints on, and of the theoretical modeling of, aspects of cosmic ray (CR) generation and propagation in the Galaxy, which are relevant for the interpretation of recent positron and anti-proton measurements. We give simple, analytic, model independent expressions for the secondary pbar flux, and an upper limit for the secondary e+ flux, obtained by neglecting e+ radiative losses, e+/(e+ + e-)<0.2\pm0. Read More

We show that the hard X-ray (HXR) emission observed from several galaxy clusters is naturally explained by a simple model, in which the nonthermal emission is produced by inverse Compton scattering of cosmic microwave background photons by electrons accelerated in cluster accretion shocks: The dependence of HXR surface brightness on cluster temperature is consistent with that predicted by the model, and the observed HXR luminosity is consistent with the fraction of shock thermal energy deposited in relativistic electrons being \lesssim 0.1. Alternative models, where the HXR emission is predicted to be correlated with the cluster thermal emission, are disfavored by the data. Read More

We argue that the observed correlation between the radio luminosity and the X-ray luminosity in radio emitting galaxy clusters implies that the radio emission is due to secondary electrons that are produced by p-p interactions and lose their energy by emitting synchrotron radiation in a strong magnetic field, B>(8\pi a T_{CMB}^4)^{1/2}\simeq 3\muG. We construct a simple model that naturally explains the correlation, and show that the observations provide stringent constraints on cluster magnetic fields and cosmic rays (CRs): Within the cores of clusters, the ratio beta_{core} between the CR energy (per logarithmic particle energy interval) and the thermal energy is beta_{core}\sim 2*10^{-4}; The source of these CRs is most likely the cluster accretion shock, which is inferred to deposit in CRs ~ 0.1 of the thermal energy it generates; The diffusion time of 100 GeV CRs over scales \gtrsim100 kpc is not short compared to the Hubble time; Cluster magnetic fields are enhanced by mergers to \gtrsim 1 % of equipartition, and decay (to <1 muG) on 1 Gyr time scales. Read More

We show that the spectral and radial distribution of the nonthermal emission of massive, M>10^{14.5}M_sun, galaxy clusters (GCs) may be approximately described by simple analytic expressions, which depend on the GC thermal X-ray properties and on two model parameter, beta_{core} and eta_e. beta_{core} is the ratio of CR energy density (within a logarithmic CR energy interval) and the thermal energy density at the GC core, and eta_{e(p)} is the fraction of the thermal energy generated in strong collisionless shocks, which is deposited in CR electrons (protons). Read More

We present a simple analytic model for the structure of non-relativistic and relativistic radiation mediated shocks. At shock velocities \beta_s\equiv v_s/c\gtrsim 0.1, the shock transition region is far from thermal equilibrium, since the transition crossing time is too short for the production of a black-body photon density (by Bremsstrahlung emission). Read More

We derive simple analytic expressions for the flux and spectrum of ultra-high energy cosmic-rays (UHECRs) predicted in models where the CRs are protons produced by extra-Galactic sources. For a power-law scaling of the CR production rate with redshift and energy, d\dot{n} /dE\propto E^-\alpha (1+z)^m, our results are accurate at high energy, E>10^18.7 eV, to better than 15%, providing a simple and straightforward method for inferring d\dot{n}/dE from the observed flux at E. Read More


Ultra high-energy cosmic rays (UHECRs) are believed to be protons accelerated in magnetized plasma outflows of extra-Galactic sources. The acceleration of protons to ~10^{20} eV requires a source power L>10^{47} erg/s. The absence of steady sources of sufficient power within the GZK horizon of 100 Mpc, implies that UHECR sources are transient. Read More

We suggest that non-thermal emission can be produced by multiple scatterings of the photons between the supernova ejecta and pre-shock material in supernova shock breakout. Such bulk-Comptonization process may significantly change the original thermal photon spectrum, forming a power-law non-thermal component at higher energies. We then show that the luminous X-ray outburst XRO081009 associated with SN2008D is likely to be such shock breakout emission from an ordinary type Ib/c supernova. Read More

We study relativistic unmagnetized collisionless shocks using unprecedentedly large particle-in-cell simulations of two-dimensional pair plasma. High energy particles accelerated by the shock are found to drive magnetic field evolution on a timescale >10^4 plasma times. Progressively stronger magnetic fields are generated on larger scales in a growing region around the shock. Read More

For more than fifty years, it has been believed that cosmic ray (CR) nuclei are accelerated to high energies in the rapidly expanding shockwaves created by powerful supernova explosions. Yet observational proof of this conjecture is still lacking. Recently, Uchiyama and collaborators reported the detection of small-scale X-ray flares in one such supernova remnant, dubbed 'RX J1713-3946' (a. Read More

We study the anisotropy signature which is expected if the sources of ultra high energy, >10^{19} eV, cosmic-rays (UHECRs) are extragalactic and trace the large scale distribution of luminous matter. Using the PSCz galaxy catalog as a tracer of the large scale structure (LSS), we derive the expected all sky angular distribution of the UHECR intensity. We define a statistic, that measures the correlation between the predicted and observed UHECR arrival direction distributions, and show that it is more sensitive to the expected anisotropy signature than the power spectrum and the two point correlation function. Read More

Electromagnetic energy losses of charged pions and muons suppress the expected high energy, >1E18 eV, neutrino emission from sources of ultrahigh energy, >1E19 eV, cosmic-rays. We show here that >1E19 eV photons produced in such sources by neutral pion decay may escape the sources, thanks to the Klein-Nishina suppression of the pair production cross section, and produce muon pairs in interactions with the cosmic microwave background. The flux of muon decay neutrinos, which are expected to be associated in time and direction with the electromagnetic emission from the sources, may reach a few percent of the Waxman-Bahcall bound. Read More

The prompt gamma-ray emission in gamma-ray bursts is believed to be produced by internal shocks within a relativistic unsteady outflow. The recent detection of prompt optical emission accompanying the prompt gamma-ray emission appears to be inconsistent with this model since the out flowing plasma is expected to be highly optically thick to optical photons. We show here that fluctuations in flow properties on short, ~ 1 ms, time scale, which drive the gamma-ray producing collisions at small radii, are expected to lead to "residual" collisions at much larger radii, where the optical depth to optical photons is low. Read More

We present a simple analytic model for the various contributions to the non-thermal emission from shell type SNRs, and show that this model's results reproduce well the results of previous detailed calculations. We show that the \geq 1 TeV gamma ray emission from the shell type SNRs RX J1713.7-3946 and RX J0852. Read More

Measurements of flavor ratios of astrophysical neutrino fluxes are sensitive to the two yet unknown mixing parameters $\theta_{13}$ and $\delta$ through the combination $\sin\theta_{13}\cos\delta$. We extend previous studies by considering the possibility that neutrino fluxes from more than a single type of sources will be measured. We point out that, if reactor experiments establish a lower bound on $\theta_{13}$, then neutrino telescopes might establish an upper bound on $|\cos\delta|$ that is smaller than one, and by that prove that CP is violated in neutrino oscillations. Read More

The predicted thermal flash from SN shock breakout might have been detected for the first time by Swift in GRB 060218/SN 2006aj. The detected thermal X-ray emission in this event implies emergence of a trans-relativistic (TR) SN shock with kinetic energy of E_k>1E49 erg. During TRSN shock breakout, the thermal photons could be "accelerated" by the shock through repeated bulk Compton scattering, forming a nonthermal gamma/X-ray component with dominant energy over thermal one. Read More

We show that the radial profiles of the temperature and density of the electrons as well as the magnetic field strength around the massive black hole at the Galactic center, SgrA*, may be constrained directly from existing radio data without any need to make prior assumptions about the dynamics of the emitting gas. The observed spectrum and wavelength-dependent angular size of SgrA* indicate that the synchrotron emission originates from an optically-thick plasma of quasi-thermal electrons. We find that the electron temperature rises above the virial temperature within tens of Schwarzschild radii from the black hole, suggesting that the emitting plasma may be outflowing. Read More

If cosmic ray protons interact with gas at roughly the mean density of the interstellar medium in starburst galaxies, then pion decay in starbursts is likely to contribute significantly to the diffuse extra-galactic background in both gamma-rays and high energy neutrinos. We describe the assumptions that lead to this conclusion and clarify the difference between our estimates and those of Stecker (2006). Detection of a single starburst by GLAST would confirm the significant contribution of starburst galaxies to the extra-galactic neutrino and gamma-ray backgrounds. Read More

Thermal X-ray emission which is simultaneous with the prompt gamma-rays has been detected for the first time from a supernova connected with a gamma-ray burst (GRB), namely GRB060218/SN2006aj. It has been interpreted as arising from the breakout of a mildly relativistic, radiation-dominated shock from a dense stellar wind surrounding the progenitor star. There is also evidence for the presence of a mildly relativistic ejecta in GRB980425/SN1998bw, based on its X-ray and radio afterglow. Read More

Observations of gamma-ray burst afterglows suggest that the correlation length of magnetic field fluctuations downstream of relativistic non-magnetized collisionless shocks grows with distance from the shock to scales much larger than the plasma skin depth. We argue that this indicates that the plasma properties are described by a self-similar solution, and derive constraints on the scaling properties of the solution. For example, we find that the scaling of the characteristic magnetic field amplitude with distance from the shock is B \propto D^{s_B} with -1 \propto x^{2s_B} (for x>>D). Read More

Cosmic ray protons interacting with gas at the mean density of the interstellar medium in starburst galaxies lose energy rapidly via inelastic collisions with ambient nuclei. The resulting pions produce secondary electrons and positrons, high-energy neutrinos, and gamma-ray photons. We estimate the cumulative gamma-ray emission from starburst galaxies. Read More