Energy transfer and magnetic field generation via ion-beam driven instabilities in an electron-ion plasma

Jaehong Park; Chuang Ren; Blackman, Eric G.; Xianglong Kong
February 2010
Physics of Plasmas;Feb2010, Vol. 17 Issue 2, p022901
Academic Journal
Whether an efficient collisionless temperature equilibration mechanism exists for a two-temperature ion-electron plasma, with Ti>Te, is important for understanding astrophysical phenomena such as two-temperature accretion flows and collisionless shocks in supernova remnants or gamma-ray bursts. In this paper, counter-streaming ion beam-driven two-stream, Weibel (or filamentation), and oblique instabilities are studied using two-dimensional (2D) particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations as a possible plasma instability that could operate in such astrophysical objects. The PIC simulations show interplay among these instabilities and that distinct stages with different dominant modes occur during the nonlinear evolution period. Although the 2D results show stronger electron-ion coupling than the one-dimensional (1D) instabilities, it is still too weak to rule out existing two-temperature accretion solutions. The nonrelativistic quasilinear equations for the 1D Weibel plus 1D two-stream modes are numerically solved to compare the results with the 2D PIC simulations and qualitative similarities were found. The equations also show that the magnetic fields generated by the Weibel instability decay to zero in the end.


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