The Astrophysical Journal
A theory of 2-stage acceleration of Galactic cosmic rays in supernova remnants is proposed. The first stage is accomplished by the supernova shock front, where a power-law spectrum is established up to a certain cutoff energy. It is followed by stochastic acceleration with compressible waves/turbulence in the downstream medium. With a broad ∝k^(-2) spectrum for the compressible plasma fluctuations, the rate of stochastic acceleration is constant over a wide range of particle momentum. In this case, the stochastic acceleration process extends the power-law spectrum cutoff energy of Galactic cosmic rays to the knee without changing the spectral slope. This situation happens as long as the rate of stochastic acceleration is faster than 1/5 of the adiabatic cooling rate. A steeper spectrum of compressible plasma fluctuations that concentrate their power in long wavelengths will accelerate cosmic rays to the knee with a small bump before its cutoff in the comic-ray energy spectrum. This theory does not require a strong amplification of the magnetic field in the upstream interstellar medium in order to accelerate cosmic rays to the knee energy.
Zhang, Ming, "Stochastic Acceleration Of Galactic Cosmic Rays By Compressible Plasma Fluctuations In Supernova Shells" (2015). Aerospace, Physics, and Space Science Faculty Publications. 326.