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Title: Deciphering the kinetic structure of multi-ion plasma shocks

Abstract

Here, strong collisional shocks in multi-ion plasmas are featured in many high-energy-density environments, including inertial confinement fusion implosions. However, their basic structure and its dependence on key parameters (e.g., the Mach number and the plasma ion composition) are poorly understood, and inconsistencies in that regard remain in the literature. In particular, the shock width's dependence on the Mach number has been hotly debated for decades. Using a high-fidelity Vlasov-Fokker-Planck code, iFP, and direct comparisons to multi-ion hydrodynamic simulations and semianalytic predictions, we resolve the structure of steady-state planar shocks in D- 3He plasmas. Additionally, we derive and confirm with kinetic simulations a quantitative description of the dependence of the shock width on the Mach number and initial ion concentration.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA); USDOE Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program
OSTI Identifier:
1409781
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-17-25337
Journal ID: ISSN 2470-0045; PLEEE8; TRN: US1703320
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review E
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 96; Journal Issue: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 2470-0045
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY

Citation Formats

Keenan, Brett D., Simakov, Andrei N., Chacón, Luis, and Taitano, William T. Deciphering the kinetic structure of multi-ion plasma shocks. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.96.053203.
Keenan, Brett D., Simakov, Andrei N., Chacón, Luis, & Taitano, William T. Deciphering the kinetic structure of multi-ion plasma shocks. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.96.053203.
Keenan, Brett D., Simakov, Andrei N., Chacón, Luis, and Taitano, William T. 2017. "Deciphering the kinetic structure of multi-ion plasma shocks". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.96.053203.
@article{osti_1409781,
title = {Deciphering the kinetic structure of multi-ion plasma shocks},
author = {Keenan, Brett D. and Simakov, Andrei N. and Chacón, Luis and Taitano, William T.},
abstractNote = {Here, strong collisional shocks in multi-ion plasmas are featured in many high-energy-density environments, including inertial confinement fusion implosions. However, their basic structure and its dependence on key parameters (e.g., the Mach number and the plasma ion composition) are poorly understood, and inconsistencies in that regard remain in the literature. In particular, the shock width's dependence on the Mach number has been hotly debated for decades. Using a high-fidelity Vlasov-Fokker-Planck code, iFP, and direct comparisons to multi-ion hydrodynamic simulations and semianalytic predictions, we resolve the structure of steady-state planar shocks in D-3He plasmas. Additionally, we derive and confirm with kinetic simulations a quantitative description of the dependence of the shock width on the Mach number and initial ion concentration.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevE.96.053203},
journal = {Physical Review E},
number = 5,
volume = 96,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month =
}

Journal Article:
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  • The structure of slow shocks and intermediate shocks in the presence of a heat conduction parallel to the local magnetic field is simulated from the set of magnetohydrodynamic equations. This study is an extension of an earlier work [C. L. Tsai, R. H. Tsai, B. H. Wu, and L. C. Lee, Phys. Plasmas 9, 1185 (2002)], in which the effects of heat conduction are examined for the case that the tangential magnetic fields on the two side of initial current sheet are exactly antiparallel (B{sub y}=0). For the B{sub y}=0 case, a pair of slow shocks is formed as themore » result of evolution of the initial current sheet, and each slow shock consists of two parts: the isothermal main shock and the foreshock. In the present paper, cases with B{sub y}{ne}0 are also considered, in which the evolution process leads to the presence of an additional pair of time-dependent intermediate shocks (TDISs). Across the main shock of the slow shock, jumps in plasma density, velocity, and magnetic field are significant, but the temperature is continuous. The plasma density downstream of the main shock decreases with time, while the downstream temperature increases with time, keeping the downstream pressure constant. The foreshock is featured by a smooth temperature variation and is formed due to the heat flow from downstream to upstream region. In contrast to the earlier study, the foreshock is found to reach a steady state with a constant width in the slow shock frame. In cases with B{sub y}{ne}0, the plasma density and pressure increase and the magnetic field decreases across TDIS. The TDIS initially can be embedded in the slow shock's foreshock structure, and then moves out of the foreshock region. With an increasing B{sub y}, the propagation speed of foreshock leading edge tends to decrease and the foreshock reaches its steady state at an earlier time. Both the pressure and temperature downstreams of the main shock decrease with increasing B{sub y}. The results can be applied to the shock heating in the solar corona and solar wind.« less
  • The properties of collisional shock waves propagating in uniform plasmas are studied with ion-kinetic calculations, in both slab and spherical geometry and for the case of one and two ion species. Despite the presence of an electric field at the shock front—and in contrast to the case where an interface is initially present [C. Bellei et al., Phys. Plasmas 20, 044702 (2013)]—essentially no ion reflection at the shock front is observed due to collisions, with a probability of reflection ≲10 -4 for the cases presented. A kinetic two-ion-species spherical convergent shock is studied in detail and compared against an average-speciesmore » calculation, confirming effects of species separation and differential heating of the ion species at the shock front. The effect of different ion temperatures on the DT and D3He fusion reactivity is discussed in the fluid limit and is estimated to be moderately important.« less
  • Heating at collisionless shocks due to the kinetic cross-field streaming instability, which is the finite beta (ratio of plasma to magnetic pressure) extension of the modified two stream instability, is studied. Heating rates are derived from quasi-linear theory and compared with results from particle simulations to show that electron heating relative to ion heating and heating parallel to the magnetic field relative to perpendicular heating for both the electrons and ions increase with beta. The simulations suggest that electron dynamics determine the saturation level of the instability, which is manifested by the formation of a flattop electron distribution parallel tomore » the magnetic field. As a result, both the saturation levels of the fluctuations and the heating rates decrease sharply with beta. Applications of these results to plasma heating in simulations of shocks and the earth's bow shock are described.« less
  • The properties of collisional shock waves propagating in uniform plasmas are studied with ion-kinetic calculations, in both slab and spherical geometry and for the case of one and two ion species. Despite the presence of an electric field at the shock front—and in contrast to the case where an interface is initially present [C. Bellei et al., Phys. Plasmas 20, 044702 (2013)]—essentially no ion reflection at the shock front is observed due to collisions, with a probability of reflection ≲10{sup −4} for the cases presented. A kinetic two-ion-species spherical convergent shock is studied in detail and compared against an average-speciesmore » calculation, confirming effects of species separation and differential heating of the ion species at the shock front. The effect of different ion temperatures on the DT and D{sup 3}He fusion reactivity is discussed in the fluid limit and is estimated to be moderately important.« less