Fermi acceleration, sometimes referred to as diffusive shock acceleration (a subclass of Fermi acceleration), is the acceleration that charged particles undergo when being repeatedly reflected, usually by a magnetic mirror. This is thought to be the primary mechanism by which particles gain non thermal energies in astrophysical shock waves. It plays a very important role in many astrophysical models, mainly of shocks including solar flares and supernova remnants. It is studied by using the Fermi-Ulam model.
There are two types of Fermi acceleration: First order Fermi acceleration (in shocks) and Second Order Fermi acceleration (in the environment of moving magnetized gas clouds). In both cases the environment has to be collisionless in order for the mechanism to be effective. This is because Fermi acceleration only applies to particles with energies exceeding the thermal energies, and frequent collisions with surrounding particles will cause severe energy loss and as a result no acceleration will occur.
Other articles related to "fermi acceleration, fermi":
... Second order Fermi Acceleration relates to the amount of energy gained during the motion of a charged particle in the presence of randomly moving "magnetic mirrors" ... This notion was used by Fermi (1949) to explain the mode of formation of cosmic rays ... In a random motion environment, Fermi argued, the probability of a head-on collision is greater than a head-tail collision, so particles would, on average, be accelerated ...