Abstract Particle acceleration behind a shock wave due to interactions between magnetic islands in the heliosphere has attracted attention in recent years. The downstream acceleration may yield a continuous increase of particle flux downstream of the shock wave. Although it is not obvious how the downstream magnetic islands are produced, it has been suggested that current sheets are involved in the generation of magnetic islands due to their interaction with a shock wave. We perform 2D hybrid kinetic simulations to investigate the interaction between multiple current sheets and a shock wave. In the simulation, current sheets are compressed by the shock wave and a tearing instability develops at the compressed current sheets downstream of the shock. As the result of this instability, the electromagnetic fields become turbulent and magnetic islands form well downstream of the shock wave. We find a “post-cursor” region in which the downstream flow speed normal to the shock wave in the downstream rest frame is decelerated to ∼ 1 V A immediately behind the shock wave, where V A is the upstream Alfvén speed. The flow speed then gradually decelerates to 0 accompanied by the development of the tearing instability. We also observe an efficient productionmore »
Dust charging in dynamic ion wakes
A molecular dynamics simulation of ion flow past dust grains is used to investigate the interaction between a pair of charged dust particles and streaming ions. The charging and dynamics of the grains are coupled and derived from the ion–dust interactions, allowing for detailed analysis of the ion wakefield structure and wakefield-mediated interaction as the dust particles change position. When a downstream grain oscillates vertically within the wake, it decharges by up to 30% as it approaches the upstream grain and then recharges as it recedes. There is an apparent hysteresis in charging depending on whether the grain is approaching or receding from a region of higher ion density. Maps of the ion-mediated dust–dust interaction force show that the radial extent of the wake region, which provides an attractive restoring force on the downstream particle, increases as the ion flow velocity decreases, though the restoring effect becomes weaker. As also shown in recent numerical results, there is no net attractive vertical force between the two grains. Instead, the reduced ion drag on the downstream particle allows it to “draft” in the wakefield of the upstream particle.
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- Physics of plasmas
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- National Science Foundation
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