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Title: Astrophysical particle acceleration mechanisms in colliding magnetized laser-produced plasmas

Significant particle energization is observed to occur in numerous astrophysical environments, and in the standard models, this acceleration occurs alongside energy conversion processes including collisionless shocks or magnetic reconnection. Recent platforms for laboratory experiments using magnetized laser-produced plasmas have opened opportunities to study these particle acceleration processes in the laboratory. Through fully kinetic particle-in-cell simulations, we investigate acceleration mechanisms in experiments with colliding magnetized laser-produced plasmas, with geometry and parameters matched to recent high-Mach number reconnection experiments with externally controlled magnetic fields. 2-D simulations demonstrate significant particle acceleration with three phases of energization: first, a “direct” Fermi acceleration driven by approaching magnetized plumes; second, x-line acceleration during magnetic reconnection of anti-parallel fields; and finally, an additional Fermi energization of particles trapped in contracting and relaxing magnetic islands produced by reconnection. Furthermore, the relative effectiveness of these mechanisms depends on plasma and magnetic field parameters of the experiments.
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [4]
  1. Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
  2. Princeton Univ., Princeton, NJ (United States)
  3. Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)
  4. Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States); Princeton Univ., Princeton, NJ (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
NA0002273; SC0008655; SC0016249
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 24; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY
OSTI Identifier:
1440988
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1374778