7 May 2013 Energy transfer in counter-propagating plasmas at sub-relativistic velocities
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Abstract
We consider interaction of two counter-propagating homogeneous sub-relativistic plasma beams with no external magnetic field applied. In numerical simulations performed with a particle-in-cell code three stages of evolution can be identified. The shock formation is initiated with development of the electron two stream and Weibel-like micro-instabilities, followed by fast electron heating and ion deceleration and heating. We present a theoretical analysis of the instabilities development and the nonlinear saturation to explore the origins of the heating and the magnetic field generation. From the dispersion relation, the instabilities are characterized and the dependence on the electron temperature and ion velocity is studied. The growth rate and the characteristic scales of instability are compared to simulation results.
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V. T. Tikhonchuk, R. Capdessus, E. d'Humières, S. Jequier, S. P. Davis, "Energy transfer in counter-propagating plasmas at sub-relativistic velocities", Proc. SPIE 8780, High-Power, High-Energy, and High-Intensity Laser Technology; and Research Using Extreme Light: Entering New Frontiers with Petawatt-Class Lasers, 87801R (7 May 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2018941; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2018941
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