Efficient electron heating in relativistic shocks and gamma-ray-burst afterglow

M. Gedalin, M. A. Balikhin, D. Eichler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Electrons in shocks are efficiently energized due to the cross-shock potential, which develops because of differential deflection of electrons and ions by the magnetic field in the shock front. The electron energization is necessarily accompanied by scattering and thermalization. The mechanism is efficient in both magnetized and nonmagnetized relativistic electron-ion shocks. It is proposed that the synchrotron emission from the heated electrons in a layer of strongly enhanced magnetic field is responsible for gamma-ray-burst afterglows.

Original languageEnglish
Article number026403
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number2
StatePublished - 7 Feb 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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