A Macroscopic Description of Self-Organized Criticality Systems and Astrophysical Applications [SSA]


We suggest a generalized definition of self-organized criticality (SOC) systems: SOC is a critical state of a nonlinear energy dissipation system that is slowly and continuously driven towards a critical value of a system-wide instability threshold, producing scale-free, fractal-diffusive, and intermittent avalanches with powerlaw-like size distributions. We develop here a macroscopic description of SOC systems that provides an equivalent description of the complex microscopic fine structure, in terms of fractal-diffusive transport (FD-SOC). Quantitative values for the size distributions of SOC parameters (length scales $L$, time scales $T$, fluxes $F$, and energies $E$) are derived from first principles, using the scale-free probability theorem, $N(L) dL \propto L^{-d}$, for Euclidean space dimension $d$. We apply this model to astrophysical SOC systems, such as lunar craters, the asteroid belt, Saturn ring particles, magnetospheric substorms, radiation belt electrons, solar flares, stellar flares, pulsar glitches, soft gamma-ray repeaters, black-hole objects, blazars, and cosmic rays. The FD-SOC model predicts correctly the size distributions of 7 out of these 12 astrophysical phenomena, and indicates non-standard scaling laws and measurement biases for the others.

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Date added: Thu, 17 Oct 13