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Collisionless shock experiments with lasers and observation of Weibel instabilities

Author(s): Park, HS; Huntington, CM; Fiuza, F; Drake, RP; Froula, DH; et al

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Abstract: Astrophysical collisionless shocks are common in the universe, occurring in supernova remnants, gamma ray bursts, and protostellar jets. They appear in colliding plasma flows when the mean free path for ion-ion collisions is much larger than the system size. It is believed that such shocks could be mediated via the electromagnetic Weibel instability in astrophysical environments without preexisting magnetic fields. Here, we present laboratory experiments using high-power lasers and investigate the dynamics of high-Mach-number collisionless shock formation in two interpenetrating plasma streams. Our recent proton-probe experiments on Omega show the characteristic filamentary structures of the Weibel instability that are electromagnetic in nature with an inferred magnetization level as high as ∼1% [C. M. Huntington et al., "Observation of magnetic field generation via the weibel instability in interpenetrating plasma flows," Nat. Phys. 11, 173-176 (2015)]. These results imply that electromagnetic instabilities are significant in the interaction of astrophysical conditions.
Publication Date: 1-May-2015
Electronic Publication Date: May-2015
Citation: Park, HS, Huntington, CM, Fiuza, F, Drake, RP, Froula, DH, Gregori, G, Koenig, M, Kugland, NL, Kuranz, CC, Lamb, DQ, Levy, MC, Li, CK, Meinecke, J, Morita, T, Petrasso, RD, Pollock, BB, Remington, BA, Rinderknecht, HG, Rosenberg, M, Ross, JS, Ryutov, DD, Sakawa, Y, Spitkovsky, A, Takabe, H, Turnbull, DP, Tzeferacos, P, Weber, SV, Zylstra, AB. (2015). Collisionless shock experiments with lasers and observation of Weibel instabilities. Physics of Plasmas, 22 (5), 10.1063/1.4920959
DOI: doi:10.1063/1.4920959
ISSN: 1070-664X
EISSN: 1089-7674
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Physics of Plasmas
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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