Current Filamentation in neutral electron-positron plasma jets

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Abstract

One of several proposed explanations for synchrotron emission from neutral astrophysical particle jets is current filamentation instability (CFI). Experiments were conducted to study the phenomenon of CFI in neutral electron-positron pair plasma jets. Pair plasma jets were found to filament in such a way that would produce the synchrotron emission observed from astrophysical jets. This is constistent with the predictions of most analytical models, and strongly suggests that CFI is indeed the mechanism that causes the radiation emission observed from Earth. It was also found that due to the symmetry between the two charges of particle, the electron-positron jet could filament and retain a smooth particle distribution, an effect not observed in electron-proton jets. The jet studied in this experiment was found to have a magnetic energy equipartition of ε_B ∼ 1 ,indicating that its magnetic behaviour is very similar to that of some of the shocks within the astrophysical jets being emulated, thus validating the potential use of laboratory-accelerated plasma jets to study astrophysical particle jets.

Supervisor: Gianluca Sarri
Original languageEnglish
TypeMasters Dissertation
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - 05 Jul 2016

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