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Title: Weibel-mediated collisionless shocks in laser-irradiated dense plasmas: Prevailing role of the electrons in generating the field fluctuations

We present a particle-in-cell simulation of the generation of a collisionless strong shock in a dense plasma driven by an ultra-intense, plane-wave laser pulse. A linear theory analysis, based on a multi-waterbag model of the particle distributions, highlights the role of the laser-heated electrons in triggering the Weibel-like instability causing shock formation. It is demonstrated that the return-current electrons play a major role in the instability development as well as in the determination of the saturated magnetic field. By contrast, the ions are found of minor importance in driving the instability and the magnetic field fluctuations responsible for their isotropization. Finally, we show that a Weibel-mediated shock can also be generated by a focused laser pulse of large enough spot size.
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. CEA, DAM, DIF, F-91297 Arpajon (France)
  2. CEA, Saclay, INSTN, F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette (France)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22490029
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 8; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ELECTRONS; FLUCTUATIONS; INSTABILITY; MAGNETIC FIELDS; PLASMA; PLASMA SIMULATION; PULSES; SHOCK WAVES; WAVE PROPAGATION