Mach number dependence of electron heating in high Mach number quasiperpendicular shocks

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    Abstract

    The efficiency of electron heating through microinstabilities generated in the transition region of a quasiperpendicular shock for a wide range of Mach numbers is investigated by utilizing particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation and model analyses. In the model analyses saturation levels of effective electron temperature as a result of microinstabilities are estimated from an extended quasilinear (trapping) analysis for relatively low (high) Mach number shocks. Here, modified two-stream instability (MTSI) is assumed to become dominant in low Mach number regime, while Buneman instability (BI) is assumed to become dominant in high Mach number regime. It is revealed that Mach number dependence of the effective electron temperature in the MTSI dominant case is essentially different from that in the BI dominant case. The effective electron temperature through the MTSI does not depend much on the Mach number, although that through the BI increases with the Mach number as in the past studies. The results are confirmed to be consistent with the PIC simulations both in qualitative and quantitative levels. The model analyses predict that a critical Mach number, above which a steep rise in electron heating rate occurs, may arise at the Mach number of a few tens.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number042901
    JournalPhysics of Plasmas
    Volume17
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Condensed Matter Physics

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