Expansion of a radially symmetric blast shell into a uniformly magnetized plasma

M. E. Dieckmann, Q. Moreno, D. Doria, L. Romagnani, G. Sarri, D. Folini, R. Walder, A. Bret, E. D'Humières, M. Borghesi

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6 Citations (Scopus)
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The expansion of a thermal pressure-driven radial blast shell into a dilute ambient plasma is examined with two-dimensional PIC simulations. The purpose is to determine if laminar shocks form in a collisionless plasma which resemble their magnetohydrodynamic counterparts. The ambient plasma is composed of electrons with the temperature of 2 keV and cool fully ionized nitrogen ions. It is permeated by a spatially uniform magnetic field. A forward shock forms between the shocked ambient medium and the pristine ambient medium, which changes from an ion acoustic one through a slow magnetosonic one to a fast magnetosonic shock with increasing shock propagation angles relative to the magnetic field. The slow magnetosonic shock that propagates obliquely to the magnetic field changes into a tangential discontinuity for a perpendicular propagation direction, which is in line with the magnetohydrodynamic model. The expulsion of the magnetic field by the expanding blast shell triggers an electron-cyclotron drift instability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number052108
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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