Radiation-pressure-driven ion Weibel instability and collisionless shocks

Year: 2017

Authors: Grassi A., Grech M., Amiranoff F., Macchi A., Riconda C.

Autors Affiliation: 1) LULI, Sorbonne Université, CNRS, Ecole Polytechnique, CEA, Université Paris-Saclay, Paris, France
2) Dipartimento di Fisica Enrico Fermi, Università di Pisa, Largo Bruno Pontecorvo 3, I-56127 Pisa, Italy
3) Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR/INO), u.o.s. Adriano Gozzini, I-56127 Pisa, Italy
4) LULI, CNRS, Ecole Polytechnique, CEA, Université Paris-Saclay, Sorbonne Université, Palaiseau, France

Abstract: The Weibel instability from counterstreaming plasma flows is a basic process highly relevant for collisionless shock formation in astrophysics. In this paper we investigate, via two- and three-dimensional simulations, suitable configurations for laboratory investigations of the ion Weibel instability (IWI) driven by a fast quasineutral plasma flow launched into the target via the radiation pressure of an ultra-high-intensity laser pulse (“hole-boring” process). The use of S-polarized light at oblique incidence is found to be an optimal configuration for driving IWI, as it prevents the development of surface rippling observed at normal incidence that would lead to strong electron heating and would favor competing instabilities. Conditions for the evolution of IWI into a collisionless shock are also investigated.


Volume: 96 (3)      Pages from: 033204-1  to: 033204-6

KeyWords: collisionless shock; plasma simulation; radiation pressure; Weibel instability;
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.96.033204

Citations: 14
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