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S. Reynolds (Physics Department, North Carolina State University)
The discovery of high-energy nonthermal emission from shell supernova remnants has opened a new window into the physics of strong shock waves, with particular importance for our understanding of particle acceleration and electron heating. I shall review the observational evidence for synchrotron X-ray emission in SN 1006, G347.3-0.5, RCW 86, and a few others, as well as the interpretation of TeV gamma-ray emission from SN 1006, G347.3-0.5, and Cas A. Shell remnants are apparently able to accelerate electrons to energies of tens of TeV, but not higher, before the electron energy spectrum begins to roll off. Evidence for ion acceleration to such energies is much less firm; while it may be occurring, it is also possible to interpret all TeV observations as due to electron processes. Detailed spatial and spectral structure of synchrotron X-ray emission contains important information on electron diffusion in turbulent media. I shall discuss the kinds of new observations that should allow us to improve our understanding of shock acceleration.
This work has been supported by NASA through the Astrophysics Theory Program.
Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society,
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.