Collisionless shock experiments with lasers and observation of Weibel instabilities

H. S. Park, C. M. Huntington, F. Fiuza, R. P. Drake, D. H. Froula, G. Gregori, M. Koenig, N. L. Kugland, C. C. Kuranz, D. Q. Lamb, M. C. Levy, C. K. Li, J. Meinecke, T. Morita, R. D. Petrasso, B. B. Pollock, B. A. Remington, H. G. Rinderknecht, M. Rosenberg, J. S. RossD. D. Ryutov, Y. Sakawa, A. Spitkovsky, H. Takabe, D. P. Turnbull, P. Tzeferacos, S. V. Weber, A. B. Zylstra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Astrophysical collisionless shocks are common in the universe, occurring in supernova remnants, gamma ray bursts, and protostellar jets. They appear in colliding plasma flows when the mean free path for ion-ion collisions is much larger than the system size. It is believed that such shocks could be mediated via the electromagnetic Weibel instability in astrophysical environments without pre-existing magnetic fields. Here, we present laboratory experiments using high-power lasers and investigate the dynamics of high-Mach-number collisionless shock formation in two interpenetrating plasma streams. Our recent proton-probe experiments on Omega show the characteristic filamentary structures of the Weibel instability that are electromagnetic in nature with an inferred magnetization level as high as ∼1% [C. M. Huntington et al., "Observation of magnetic field generation via the weibel instability in interpenetrating plasma flows," Nat. Phys. 11, 173-176 (2015)]. These results imply that electromagnetic instabilities are significant in the interaction of astrophysical conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number056311
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Volume22
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Collisionless shock experiments with lasers and observation of Weibel instabilities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this