Visualizing electromagnetic fields in laser-produced counter-streaming plasma experiments for collisionless shock laboratory astrophysics

N. L. Kugland, J. S. Ross, P. Y. Chang, R. P. Drake, G. Fiksel, D. H. Froula, S. H. Glenzer, G. Gregori, M. Grosskopf, C. Huntington, M. Koenig, Y. Kuramitsu, C. Kuranz, M. C. Levy, E. Liang, D. Martinez, J. Meinecke, F. Miniati, T. Morita, A. PelkaC. Plechaty, R. Presura, A. Ravasio, B. A. Remington, B. Reville, D. D. Ryutov, Y. Sakawa, A. Spitkovsky, H. Takabe, H. S. Park

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Abstract

Collisionless shocks are often observed in fast-moving astrophysical plasmas, formed by non-classical viscosity that is believed to originate from collective electromagnetic fields driven by kinetic plasma instabilities. However, the development of small-scale plasma processes into large-scale structures, such as a collisionless shock, is not well understood. It is also unknown to what extent collisionless shocks contain macroscopic fields with a long coherence length. For these reasons, it is valuable to explore collisionless shock formation, including the growth and self-organization of fields, in laboratory plasmas. The experimental results presented here show at a glance with proton imaging how macroscopic fields can emerge from a system of supersonic counter-streaming plasmas produced at the OMEGA EP laser. Interpretation of these results, plans for additional measurements, and the difficulty of achieving truly collisionless conditions are discussed. Future experiments at the National Ignition Facility are expected to create fully formed collisionless shocks in plasmas with no pre-imposed magnetic field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number056313
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Kugland, N. L., Ross, J. S., Chang, P. Y., Drake, R. P., Fiksel, G., Froula, D. H., ... Park, H. S. (2013). Visualizing electromagnetic fields in laser-produced counter-streaming plasma experiments for collisionless shock laboratory astrophysics. Physics of Plasmas, 20(5), [056313]. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4804548