Filamentation due to the growth of a Weibel-type instability was observed in the interaction of a pair of counterstreaming, ablatively driven plasma flows, in a supersonic, collisionless regime relevant to astrophysical collisionless shocks. The flows were created by irradiating a pair of opposing plastic (CH) foils with 1.8 kJ, 2-ns laser pulses on the OMEGA EP Laser System. Ultrafast laser-driven proton radiography was used to image the Weibel-generated electromagnetic fields. The experimental observations are in good agreement with the analytical theory of the Weibel instability and with particle-in-cell simulations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)