Electron energization in quasi-parallel shocks: Test-particle electrons in a proton-driven turbulence
Context. In situ observations of energetic particles at the Earth's bow-shock that are attainable by the satellite missions have fostered the opinion for a long time that electrons are most efficiently accelerated in a quasi-perpendicular shock geometry. However, shocks that are deemed to be responsible for the production of cosmic ray electrons and their radiation from sources such as supernova remnants are much more powerful and larger than the Earth's bow-shock. Their remote observations and also in situ measurements at Saturn's bow shock, that is, the strongest shock in the Solar System, suggest that electrons are accelerated very efficiently in the quasi-parallel shocks as well.Aims. In this paper we investigate the possibility that protons that are accelerated to high energies create sufficient wave turbulence, which is necessary for the electron preheating and subsequent injection into the diffusive shock acceleration in a quasi-parallel shock geometry.Methods. An additional test-particle-electron population, which is meant to be a low-density addition to the electron core-distribution on which the hybrid simulation operates, is introduced. Our purpose is to investigate how these electrons are energized by the "hybrid" electromagnetic field. The reduced spatial dimensionality allowed us to dramatically increase the number of macro-ions per numerical cell and achieve the converged results for the velocity distributions of test electrons.Results. We discuss the electron preheating mechanisms, which can make a significant part of thermal electrons accessible to the ion-driven waves observed in hybrid simulations. We find that the precursor wave field supplied by ions has a considerable potential to preheat the electrons before they are shocked at the subshock. Our results indicate that a downstream thermal equilibration of the hot test electrons and protons does not occur. Instead, the resulting electron-to-proton temperature ratio is a decreasing function of the shock Mach number, M-A, which has a tendency for a saturation at high M-A.