Magnetic field advection in two interpenetrating plasma streams

Ryutov, D. D.; Kugland, N. L.; Levy, M. C.; Plechaty, C.; Ross, J. S.; Park, H. S.
March 2013
Physics of Plasmas;Mar2013, Vol. 20 Issue 3, p032703
Academic Journal
Laser-generated colliding plasma streams can serve as a test-bed for the study of various astrophysical phenomena and the general physics of self-organization. For streams of a sufficiently high kinetic energy, collisions between the ions of one stream with the ions of the other stream are negligible, and the streams can penetrate through each other. On the other hand, the intra-stream collisions for high-Mach-number flows can still be very frequent, so that each stream can be described hydrodynamically. This paper presents an analytical study of the effects that these interpenetrating streams have on large-scale magnetic fields either introduced by external coils or generated in the plasma near the laser targets. Specifically, a problem of the frozen-in constraint is assessed and paradoxical features of the field advection in this system are revealed. A possibility of using this system for studies of magnetic reconnection is mentioned.


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