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This content will become publicly available on November 3, 2018

Title: Experimental Observation of a Current-Driven Instability in a Neutral Electron-Positron Beam

Here, we report on the first experimental observation of a current-driven instability developing in a quasineutral matter-antimatter beam. Strong magnetic fields (≥ 1T) are measured, via means of a proton radiography technique, after the propagation of a neutral electron-positron beam through a background electron-ion plasma. The experimentally determined equipartition parameter of ε B ≈ 10 -3 is typical of values inferred from models of astrophysical gamma-ray bursts, in which the relativistic flows are also expected to be pair dominated. The data, supported by particle-in-cell simulations and simple analytical estimates, indicate that these magnetic fields persist in the background plasma for thousands of inverse plasma frequencies. The existence of such long-lived magnetic fields can be related to analog astrophysical systems, such as those prevalent in lepton-dominated jets.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [5] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [6] ;  [5] ;  [5] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [7] ;  [8] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Queen's Univ., Belfast, Northern Ireland (United Kingdom). School of Mathematics and Physics
  2. Linkoping Univ., Norrkoping (Sweden). Dept. of Science and Technology (ITN)
  3. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
  4. Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau (France). Lab. pour l'Utilisation des Lasers Intenses (LULI)
  5. Imperial College London, London (United Kingdom). John Adams Inst. for Accelerator Science, Blackett Lab.
  6. Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States). Center for Ultrafast Optical Science
  7. Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Oxford (United Kingdom). Rutherford Appleton Lab. (RAL), Central Laser Facility
  8. Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States). Center for Ultrafast Optical Science; Lancaster Univ. (United Kingdom). Physics Dept.
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-76SF00515; EP/N-022696/1; EP/N-027175/1; EP/L-013975/1; EP/N-002644/1; EP/P-010059/1; NA-0002372; x-2016046960; NA0002372; x2016046960
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 119; Journal Issue: 18; Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007
American Physical Society (APS)
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; 79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; Plasma-beam interactions; Space & astrophysical plasma
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1408181