Collisionless shock is ubiquitous in space and astrophysical plasmas, and is believed to be a source of cosmic rays. In this review article, historical achievements of three different types of collisionless shocks, i.e. magnetohydrodynamic, electromagnetic, and electrostatic (ES) shocks, in theory/simulation, observation in space and astrophysical plasmas, and laboratory experiments are shown. An overview is given on recent progress of collisionless ES shock experiments using high-energy laser systems for two schemes. One is an interaction between laser-produced high-density ablating plasma and a low-density ambient plasma, and the other is an interaction between laser-ablated counter-streaming plasmas using double-plane target. For the former scheme, detailed measurements of structures of collisionless ES shock and ion-acoustic soliton, and the transition from double-layer to collisionless ES shock are conducted by proton radiography. For the latter scheme, optical diagnostics are used to observe global structures of plasmas and shocks; collective laser Thomson scattering method is applied to clarify local plasma parameters, such as electron and ion temperatures, flow velocity, and electron density; and proton radiography is employed to measure a shock electric field. The measured large density-jump, steepening of self-emission profile, plasma parameters in the up- and down-stream regions of a shock, and the narrow width of the shock electric field compared with the ion-ion Coulomb mean-free-path reveal the evidence for the formation of collisionless ES shock.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)