Generation of a Purely Electrostatic Collisionless Shock during the Expansion of a Dense Plasma through a Rarefied Medium

Gianluca Sarri, M. E. Dieckmann, Ioannis Kourakis, Marco Borghesi

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33 Citations (Scopus)
228 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

A two-dimensional numerical study of the expansion of a dense plasma through a more rarefied one is reported. The electrostatic ion-acoustic shock, which is generated during the expansion, accelerates the electrons of the rarefied plasma inducing a superthermal population which reduces electron thermal anisotropy. The Weibel instability is therefore not triggered and no self-generated magnetic fields are observed, in contrast with published theoretical results dealing with plasma expansion into vacuum. The shock front develops a filamentary structure which is interpreted as the consequence of the electrostatic ion-ion instability, consistently with published analytical models and experimental results.
Original languageEnglish
Article number025003
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume107
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 06 Jul 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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