Magnetic field evolution in relativistic unmagnetized collisionless shocks

Uri Keshet, Boaz Katz, Anatoly Spitkovsky, Eli Waxman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

90 Scopus citations

Abstract

We study relativistic unmagnetized collisionless shocks using unprecedentedly large particle-in-cell simulations of two-dimensional pair plasma. High-energy particles accelerated by the shock are found to drive magnetic field evolution on a timescale ≳104 plasma times. Progressively stronger magnetic fields are generated on larger scales in a growing region around the shock. Shock-generated magnetic fields and accelerated particles carry ≳1% and ≳10% of the downstream energy flux, respectively. Our results suggest limits on the magnetization of relativistic astrophysical flows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L127-L130
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume693
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • Acceleration of particles
  • Gamma rays: bursts
  • Magnetic fields
  • Shock waves

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Magnetic field evolution in relativistic unmagnetized collisionless shocks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this