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Electrostatic and magnetic instabilities in the transition layer of a collisionless weakly relativistic pair shock
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
ETSI Industriales, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain..ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2030-0046
2018 (English)In: Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, ISSN 0035-8711, E-ISSN 1365-2966, Vol. 473, no 1, p. 198-209Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Energetic electromagnetic emissions by astrophysical jets like those that are launched during the collapse of a massive star and trigger gamma-ray bursts are partially attributed to relativistic internal shocks. The shocks are mediated in the collisionless plasma of such jets by the filamentation instability of counterstreaming particle beams. The filamentation instability grows fastest only if the beams move at a relativistic relative speed. We model here with a particle-in-cell simulation, the collision of two cold pair clouds at the speed c/2 (c: speed of light). We demonstrate that the two-stream instability outgrows the filamentation instability for this speed and is thus responsible for the shock formation. The incomplete thermalization of the upstream plasma by its quasi-electrostatic waves allows other instabilities to grow. A shock transition layer forms, in which a filamentation instability modulates the plasma far upstream of the shock. The inflowing upstream plasma is progressively heated by a two-stream instability closer to the shock and compressed to the expected downstream density by the Weibel instability. The strong magnetic field due to the latter is confined to a layer 10 electron skin depths wide.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2018. Vol. 473, no 1, p. 198-209
Keywords [en]
relativistic pair jet, collisionless instability, PIC simulations
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-141947DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stx2387ISI: 000415653600017OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-141947DiVA, id: diva2:1149249
Note

Funding agencies: Ministerio de Educacion y Ciencia, Spain [ENE2013-45661-C2-1-P, ENE2016-75703-R]; Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha [PEII-2014-008-P]; Grand Equipement National de Calcul Intensif (GENCI) [x2016046960]

Available from: 2017-10-13 Created: 2017-10-13 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved

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Dieckmann, Mark E

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