Nonlinear waves and shocks in relativistic two-fluid hydrodynamics

L. Haim, M. Gedalin, A. Spitkovsky, V. Krasnoselskikh, M. Balikhin

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2 Scopus citations


Relativistic shocks are present in a number of objects where violent processes are accompanied by relativistic outflows of plasma. The magnetization parameter σ = B 2/4πnmc 2 of the ambient medium varies in wide range. Shocks with low σ are expected to substantially enhance the magnetic fields in the shock front. In non-relativistic shocks the magnetic compression is limited by nonlinear effects related to the deceleration of flow. Two-fluid analysis of perpendicular relativistic shocks shows that the nonlinearities are suppressed for σ≪1 and the magnetic field reaches nearly equipartition values when the magnetic energy density is of the order of the ion energy density, B eq 2 ∼ 4πnm ic 2γ. A large cross-shock potential eφ/mic 2γ0 ∼ B 2/B eq 2 develops across the electron-ion shock front. This potential is responsible for electron energization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-302
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Plasma Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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