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Preferential acceleration of positrons by a filamentation instability between an electron–proton beam and a pair plasma beam
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Media and Information Technology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. (Scientific Visualization)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4055-0552
Centre for Fusion, Space and Astrophysics, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3096-7776
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Media and Information Technology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. (Scientific Visualization)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1511-5006
Centre for Fusion, Space and Astrophysics, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK.
2020 (English)In: Physics of Plasmas, ISSN 1070-664X, E-ISSN 1089-7674, Vol. 27, no 12, article id 122102Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Particle-in-cell simulations of jets of electrons and positrons in an ambient electron–proton plasma have revealed an acceleration of positrons at the expense of electron kinetic energy. We show that a filamentation instability, between an unmagnetized ambient electron–proton plasma at rest and a beam of pair plasma that moves through it at a non-relativistic speed, indeed results in preferential positron acceleration. Filaments form that are filled predominantly with particles with the same direction of their electric current vector. Positron filaments are separated by electromagnetic fields from beam electron filaments. Some particles can cross the field boundary and enter the filament of the other species. Positron filaments can neutralize their net charge by collecting the electrons of the ambient plasma, while protons cannot easily follow the beam electron filaments. Positron filaments can thus be compressed to a higher density and temperature than the beam electron filaments. Filament mergers, which take place after the exponential growth phase of the instability has ended, lead to an expansion of the beam electron filaments, which amplifies the magnetic field they generate and induces an electric field in this filament. Beam electrons lose a substantial fraction of their kinetic energy to the electric field. Some positrons in the beam electron filament are accelerated by the induced electric field to almost twice their initial speed. The simulations show that a weaker electric field is induced in the positron filament and particles in this filament hardly change their speed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Institute of Physics (AIP), 2020. Vol. 27, no 12, article id 122102
Keywords [en]
PIC simulation, collisionless plasma, relativistic jet
National Category
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-171757DOI: 10.1063/5.0021257ISI: 000598462500002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-171757DiVA, id: diva2:1506061
Note

Funding agencies: Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing (SNIC) at the HPC2N (Umea) [EP/P02212X/1]; GENCI [EP/P02212X/1, A0070406960]; HPC2N [SNIC2019-3-413]

Available from: 2020-12-02 Created: 2020-12-02 Last updated: 2021-01-13Bibliographically approved

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Dieckmann, Mark EFalk, Martin

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