Magnetic vortex growth in the transition layer of a mildly relativistic plasma shock

Murphy, G. C.; Dieckmann, M. E.; Drury, L. O'C.
November 2010
Physics of Plasmas;Nov2010, Vol. 17 Issue 11, p110701
Academic Journal
A two-dimensional particle simulation models the collision of two electron-ion plasma clouds along a quasiparallel magnetic field. The collision speed is 0.9c and the density ratio, 10. A current sheet forms at the front of the dense cloud, in which the electrons and the magnetic field reach energy equipartition with the ions. A structure composed of a solenoidal and a toroidal magnetic field grows in this sheet. It resembles the cross-section of the torus of a spheromak, which may provide the coherent magnetic fields in gamma-ray burst jets needed for their prompt emissions.


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