Generation of a purely electrostatic collisionless shock during the expansion of a dense plasma through a rarefied medium

G. Sarri, M. E. Dieckmann, I. Kourakis, M. Borghesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

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 languageBritish English
Article number025003
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume107
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 6 Jul 2011

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Generation of a purely electrostatic collisionless shock during the expansion of a dense plasma through a rarefied medium'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this