Generation and Evolution of High-Mach-Number Laser-Driven Magnetized Collisionless Shocks in the Laboratory

D. B. Schaeffer, W. Fox, D. Haberberger, G. Fiksel, A. Bhattacharjee, D. H. Barnak, S. X. Hu, K. Germaschewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present the first laboratory generation of high-Mach-number magnetized collisionless shocks created through the interaction of an expanding laser-driven plasma with a magnetized ambient plasma. Time-resolved, two-dimensional imaging of plasma density and magnetic fields shows the formation and evolution of a supercritical shock propagating at magnetosonic Mach number Mms≈12. Particle-in-cell simulations constrained by experimental data further detail the shock formation and separate dynamics of the multi-ion-species ambient plasma. The results show that the shocks form on time scales as fast as one gyroperiod, aided by the efficient coupling of energy, and the generation of a magnetic barrier between the piston and ambient ions. The development of this experimental platform complements present remote sensing and spacecraft observations, and opens the way for controlled laboratory investigations of high-Mach number collisionless shocks, including the mechanisms and efficiency of particle acceleration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number025001
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume119
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 13 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Generation and Evolution of High-Mach-Number Laser-Driven Magnetized Collisionless Shocks in the Laboratory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Schaeffer, D. B., Fox, W., Haberberger, D., Fiksel, G., Bhattacharjee, A., Barnak, D. H., Hu, S. X., & Germaschewski, K. (2017). Generation and Evolution of High-Mach-Number Laser-Driven Magnetized Collisionless Shocks in the Laboratory. Physical review letters, 119(2), [025001]. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.025001