AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 100. Galaxy Clusters and Mergers
Display, Wednesday, January 9, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[100.17] Accelerated Particles from Shocks formed in Merging Clusters of Galaxies

R. C. Berrington (ASEE/NRL), C. D. Dermer (NRL)

Subcluster interactions produce shocks during the merging process that accelerate nonthermal particles via first-order Fermi acceleration. We treat Fermi acceleration of nonthermal electrons and protons by injecting power law distributions of particles during a merger event, subject to constraints on maximum particle energies. With input parameter sets constrained by observations of the Coma cluster, particle energies of ~108 MeV for electrons and ~1010 MeV for protons are obtainable. From these distributions we calculate the broadband nonthermal spectrum emitted by accelerated electrons and protons both and after the merger event. We discuss the prospect for detecting nonthermal radio, X-ray and \gamma-ray emissions from clusters of galaxies and the implications of our results for the diffuse \gamma-ray background.

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The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: rberring@gamma.nrl.navy.mil

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