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Donald Ellison

Professor Emeritus

Riddick Hall 400



Professor Ellison received his PhD in 1982 from The Catholic University of America. He spent a year at the Service d’Astrophysique, Saclay, France before taking up a joint postdoctoral position at the University of Maryland and NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. He joined the faculty of North Carolina State University in 1987. The year 1995 was spent on sabbatical at the Service d’Astrophysique and the Fall semester of 2007 was spent at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford University.

Research Description

Most of Ellison's research has centered on developing theoretical models of particle acceleration mechanisms in astrophysics. He was among the first to recognize the importance of nonlinear effects in diffusive shock acceleration and he developed Monte Carlo computer simulations to investigate this effect. This work has been applied to the production of cosmic raysin supernova remnants as well as to collisionless shocks in the heliosphere. He was also among the first to investigate the effects of efficient particle acceleration in relativistic shocks with applications to gamma-ray bursts. Other research accomplishments associated with shocks include the modeling of the production of strong magnetic turbulence in shocks and the use of particle-in-cell computer simulations to investigate the injection of thermal particles into the diffusive shock acceleration mechanism.

Honors and Awards

  • He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of the American Astronomical Society.

Selected Publications

A CR-hydro-NEI Model of the Structure and Broadband Emission from Tycho's Supernova Remnant
Slane, Lee, Ellison, Patnaude, Hughes, Eriksen, Castro & Nagataki
ApJ, 783, (2014), 33, doi:10.1088/0004-637X/799/2/238

Monte Carlo Simulations of Nonlinear Particle Acceleration in Parallel Trans-relativistic Shocks
Ellison, Warren & Bykov
ApJ, 776, (2013), 46, doi:10.1088/0004-637X/776/1/46

A CR-hydro-NEI Model of Multi-wavelength Emission from the Vela Jr. Supernova Remnant (SNR RX J0852.0-4622)
Lee, Slane, Ellison, Nagataki & Patnaude
ApJ, 767, (2013), 20, doi:10.1088/0004-637X/767/1/20

Magnetic Fields in Cosmic Particle Acceleration Sources
Bykov, Ellison & Renaud
Space Science Reviews, 166, (2012), 71, doi:10.1007/s11214-011-9761-4

A Generalized Model of Nonlinear Diffusive Shock Acceleration Coupled to an Evolving Supernova Remnant
Lee, Ellison & Nagataki
ApJ, 750, (2012), 156, doi:10.1088/0004-637X/750/2/156

X-ray Stripes in Tycho's Supernova Remnant: Synchrotron Footprints of a Nonlinear Cosmic-ray-driven Instability
Bykov, Ellison, Osipov, Pavlov & Uvarov
ApJ, 735, (2011), 735, doi:10.1088/2041-8205/735/2/L40

Gamma-ray Emission of Accelerated Particles Escaping a Supernova Remnant in a Molecular Cloud
Ellison & Bykov
ApJ, 731, (2011), 87, doi:10.1088/0004-637X/731/2/87

Cosmic ray current driven turbulence in shocks with efficient particle acceleration: the oblique, long-wavelength mode instability
Bykov, Osipov & Ellison
MNRAS, 410, (2011), 39, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17421.x

Efficient Cosmic Ray Acceleration, Hydrodynamics, and Self-Consistent Thermal X-Ray Emission Applied to Supernova Remnant RX J1713.7-3946
Ellison, Patnaude, Slane & Raymond
ApJ, 712, (2010), 287, doi:10.1088/0004-637X/712/1/287

Spectra of Magnetic Fluctuations and Relativistic Particles Produced by a Nonresonant Wave Instability in Supernova Remnant Shocks
Vladimirov, Bykov & Ellison
ApJL, L29, (2009), 703, doi:10.1088/0004-637X/703/1/L29

The Role of Diffusive Shock Acceleration on Nonequilibrium Ionization in Supernova Remnants
Patnaude, Ellison & Slane
ApJ, 696, (2009), 1956, doi:10.1088/0004-637X/696/2/1956

Dots, Clumps, and Filaments: The Intermittent Images of Synchrotron Emission in Random Magnetic Fields of Young Supernova Remnants
Bykov, Uvarov & Ellison
689, L133, (2008), doi:10.1086/595868

Turbulence Dissipation and Particle Injection in Nonlinear Diffusive Shock Acceleration with Magnetic Field Amplification
Vladimirov, Bykov & Ellison
688, 1084, (2008), doi:10.1086/592240

Three-dimensional Model of Broadband Emission from Supernova Remnants Undergoing Nonlinear Diffusive Shock Acceleration
Lee, Kamae & Ellison
ApJ, 686, (2008), 325, doi:10.1086/591308

Magnetic Field Amplification and Rapid Time Variations in SNR RX J1713.7-3946
Ellison & Vladimirov
ApJ, 673, (2008), L47, doi:10.1086/527359

Particle Acceleration in Supernova Remnants and the Production of Thermal and Nonthermal Radiation
Ellison, Patnaude, Slane, Blasi & Gabici
ApJ, 661, (2007), 879, doi:10.1086/517518

Nonlinear Diffusive Shock Acceleration with Magnetic Field Amplification
Vladimirov, Ellison & Bykov
ApJ, 652, (2006), 1246, doi:10.1086/508154

Radio and X-Ray Profiles in Supernova Remnants Undergoing Efficient Cosmic-Ray Production
Ellison & Cassam-Chena
ApJ, 632, (2005), 920, doi:10.1086/444449

Nonlinear particle acceleration at reverse shocks in supernova remnants
Ellison, Decourchelle & Ballet
A&A, 429, (2005), 569, doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20041668

Diffusive shock acceleration in unmodified relativistic, oblique shocks
Ellison & Double
Astroparticle Physics, 22, (2004), 323, doi:10.1016/j.astropartphys.2004.08.005

Nonlinear particle acceleration in relativistic shocks
Ellison & Double
Astroparticle Physics, 18, (2002), 213, doi:10.1088/0004-637X/776/1/46

Rayleigh-Taylor Instabilities in Young Supernova Remnants Undergoing Efficient Particle Acceleration
Blondin & Ellison
ApJ, 560, (2001), 244, doi:10.1086/322499

Nonlinear Shock Acceleration and Photon Emission in Supernova Remnants
Ellison, Berezhko & Baring
ApJ, 540, (2000), 292, doi:10.1086/309324

Thermal X-Ray Emission and Cosmic-Ray Production in Young Supernova Remnants
Decourchelle, Ellison & Ballet
ApJ, 543, (2000), L57, doi:10.1086/318167

A Simple Model of Nonlinear Diffusive Shock Acceleration
Berezhko & Ellison
ApJ, 526, (1999), 385, doi:10.1086/307993

Galactic Cosmic Rays from Supernova Remnants. II. Shock Acceleration of Gas and Dust
Ellison, Drury & Meyer
ApJ, 487, (1997), 197, doi:10.1086/304580

Galactic Cosmic Rays from Supernova Remnants. I. A Cosmic-Ray Composition Controlled by Volatility and Mass-to-Charge Ratio
Meyer, Drury & Ellison
ApJ, 487, (1997), 182, doi:10.1086/304599

Acceleration of Solar Wind Ions by Nearby Interplanetary Shocks: Comparison of Monte Carlo Simulations with ULYSSES Observations
Baring, Ogilvie, Ellison & Forsyth
ApJ, 476, (1997), 889, doi:10.1086/303645

Nonlinear Particle Acceleration in Oblique Shocks
Ellison, Baring & Jones
ApJ, 473, (1996), 1029, doi:10.1086/178213

Investigation of intrinsic variability in one-dimensional parallel shocks using steady state hybrid simulations
Bennett & Ellison
JGR, 100, (1995), 3439, doi:10.1029/94JA02579

Electron acceleration in Tycho's and Kepler's supernova remnants - Spectral evidence of Fermi shock acceleration
Reynolds & Ellison
399, L75, (1992), doi:10.1086/186610

The plasma physics of shock acceleration
Jones & Ellison
Space Sci. Revs., 58, (1991), 259, doi:10.1007/BF01206003

First-order Fermi particle acceleration by relativistic shocks
Ellison, Reynolds & Jones
ApJ, 360, (1990), 702, doi:10.1086/169156

Particle injection and acceleration at earth's bow shock - Comparison of upstream and downstream events
Ellison, Moebius & Paschmann
ApJ, 352, (1990), 376, doi:10.1086/168544

Shock acceleration of electrons and ions in solar flares
Ellison & Ramaty
ApJ, 298, (1985), 400, doi:10.1086/163623

Relativistic cosmic-ray spectra in the fully nonlinear theory of shock acceleration
Ellison & Eichler
PRL, 55, (1985), 2735, doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.55.2735

Monte Carlo shock-like solutions to the Boltzmann equation with collective scattering
Ellison & Eichler
ApJ, 286, (1984), 691, doi:10.1086/162644

Monte Carlo Simulation of Collisionless Shocks Showing Preferential Acceleration of High A/Z Particles
Ellison, D.C., Jones, F.C. and Eichler, D.
J. Geophys. Zeitschrift Geophysik, Vol. 50, (1981), pages 110-113