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Title: Ion pre-acceleration in fully self-consistent particle-in-cell simulations of supercritical perpendicular reforming shocks in multiple ion species plasmas

Supernova remnant and heliopause termination shock plasmas may contain significant populations of minority heavy ions, with relative number densities n{sub α}/n{sub i} up to 50%. Preliminary kinetic simulations of collisionless shocks in these environments showed that the reformation cycle and acceleration mechanisms at quasi-perpendicular shocks can depend on the value of n{sub α}/n{sub i} . Shock reformation unfolds on ion spatio-temporal scales, requiring fully kinetic simulations of particle dynamics, together with the self-consistent electric and magnetic fields. This paper presents the first set of particle-in-cell simulations for two ion species, protons (n{sub p} ) and α-particles (n{sub α}), with differing mass and charge-to-mass ratios, that spans the entire range of n{sub α}/n{sub i} from 0% to 100%. The interplay between the differing gyro length scales and timescales of the ion species is crucial to the time-evolving phenomenology of the shocks, the downstream turbulence, and the particle acceleration at different n{sub α}/n{sub i} . We show how the overall energization changes with n{sub α}/n{sub i} , and relate this to the processes individual ions undergo in the shock region and in the downstream turbulence, and to the power spectra of magnetic field fluctuations. The crossover between shocks dominated by the respectivemore » ion species happens when n{sub α}/n{sub i} = 25%, and minority ion energization is strongest in this regime. Energization of the majority ion species scales with injection energy. The power spectrum of the downstream turbulence includes peaks at sequential ion cyclotron harmonics, suggestive of ion ring-beam collective instability.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Department of Physics, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1048 Blindern, N-0316 Oslo (Norway)
  2. CFSA, Department of Physics, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL (United Kingdom)
  3. CCFE, Culham Science Centre, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX14 3DB (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22365394
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 791; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ACCELERATION; COSMIC RADIATION; CYCLOTRON HARMONICS; DENSITY; FLUCTUATIONS; HEAVY IONS; INSTABILITY; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MASS; PLASMA; RINGS; SHOCK WAVES; SIMULATION; SPECTRA; SUPERNOVA REMNANTS; TURBULENCE