Kinetic Simulations of Electron Pre-energization by Magnetized Collisionless Shocks in Expanding Laboratory Plasmas

K. V. Lezhnin, W. Fox, D. B. Schaeffer, A. Spitkovsky, J. Matteucci, A. Bhattacharjee, K. Germaschewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Collisionless shocks are common features in space and astrophysical systems where supersonic plasma flows interact, such as in the solar wind, the heliopause, and supernova remnants. Recent experimental capabilities and diagnostics allow detailed laboratory investigations of high-Mach-number shocks, which therefore can become a valuable way to understand shock dynamics in various astrophysical environments. Using 2D particle-in-cell simulations with a Coulomb binary collision operator, we demonstrate the mechanism for generation of energetic electrons and experimental requirements for detecting this process in the laboratory high-Mach-number collisionless shocks. We show through a parameter study that electron acceleration by magnetized collisionless shocks is feasible in laboratory experiments with laser-driven expanding plasmas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL52
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume908
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 20 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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