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The expansion of a radial blast shell into an ambient plasma is modeled with a particle-in-cell simulation. The unmagnetized plasma consists of electrons and protons. The formation and evolution of an electrostatic shock is observed, which is trailed by ion-acoustic solitary waves that grow on the beam of the blast shell ions in the post-shock plasma. In spite of the initially radial symmetric outflow, the solitary waves become twisted and entangled and, hence, they break the radial symmetry of the flow. The waves and their interaction with the shocked ambient ions slow down the blast shell protons and bring the post-shock plasma closer to equilibrium.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics
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