Heidelberg Joint Astronomical Colloquium

Speaker Brian Reville
Title Fermi acceleration at relativistic shocks and its radiative signatures

Relativistic bulk motion is known to occur in several astrophysical objects. These flows are generally identified via their non-thermal radiation spectra and are often associated with the presence of shocks. One possible source of this radiation is the synchrotron and inverse-Compton radiation produced by a population of shock accelerated electrons. The theory of Fermi acceleration at relativistic shocks is reviewed, and shown to be generally consistent with the observed power-law index of the non-thermal emission spectra. In light of recent simulations, the maximum energy photon energies that can be produced via synchrotron-type processes is revisited. This places stringent limits on synchrotron models of recent FERMI observations of GeV emission from GRBs.